Simple Ways to Add Activity to Everyday Life

Do you want to be more active, but don’t want to spend time at the gym? Don’t worry! If you’re having a hard time getting an exercise routine off the ground, there are many ways to be more physically active while you’re going about your daily life — both at work and home. Try putting a few of the following strategies into practice over the following weeks. The results may surprise you!

At work:

Park further away from the building. This will force you to walk a little bit more in the morning when you get to work and in the evening when you leave. Over time, this extra activity adds up.

Use the stairs. If you normally use an elevator at work, take the stairs instead.

Get up and stretch every once in a while. Being too sedentary can have bad health effects, so make sure you’re not sitting down for too long. Get up from your chair and stretch for just a minute or two every 40 minutes or so. Every 90 minutes, take a short walk to the break room, water cooler, restroom, or just do a lap around the office.

Stay hydrated. Drinking water may not be a particularly taxing activity in and of itself, but staying hydrated will keep your energy levels up, making it easier to engage in heavier activity. As a convenient side effect, it will also give you a good excuse to get up and walk more since you will need to use the restroom more often.

Physically interact with your co-workers. The modern workplace makes it easy for us to rely on the convenience of e-mail and instant messaging to communicate with co-workers. Instead, if you have a question for someone, try walking to their desk instead of e-mailing them. As an added bonus, you’ll probably find that responses often come more quickly in person than they do over e-mail, so you might find yourself being more productive as well!

At home:

Walk or bike when running errands. When going out short distances, try to talk or ride your bike instead of driving. If driving is necessary, force yourself to walk a bit more by parking as far away from the building as possible.

Do more chores. This is one that most people probably don’t want to hear, but taking an extra 15-20 minutes every evening to do some extra cleaning is a great way to keep moving and burn some extra calories. As an added bonus, you get a cleaner place to live out of it.

Play with your pets more. If you have dogs or cats, break out out the toys or go for a longer walk than usual. You will get extra exercise and your pet will love the extra attention!

Get out of your seat on commercial breaks. Instead of browsing your phone during TV commercials and streaming ads, use those few minutes to do some light exercise. We suggest stretching or a quick run up and down the stairs.

Try the “pull-up bar challenge.” Up for something a little more challenging? Buy a pull-up bar and install it in a single doorway in your home that is used at least semi-frequently. Every time you walk under it, do a pull-up.

Take some short neighborhood walks. The most simple way to be more active in your free time is to just open the front door and start walking. On top of providing good moderate exercise, you may find a short 10 minute walk around the neighborhood to be a wonderful mental refresher as well.

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