Moving your body is a key factor in living a healthier lifestyle, but knowing how to incorporate more movement into your routine may seem challenging at first. That’s why today I’m sharing with you 20 simple ways to begin moving more every day and start living better.
Why You Should Move More
For many of us, sitting has become something we do more throughout our day than anything else. We sit at our jobs or school, we sit and watch tv, we sit at our computers or while we are on our phones. All that sitting can add up to some serious health problems.
Science has shown that leading a sedentary lifestyle attributes to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. You may have heard this before, but did you know that being inactive for days on end can have an adverse effect on your mental health as well?
Exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety, improve your mood, and boost your self-esteem. Even doing just a little bit every day can make a huge difference for you both mentally and physically.
Finding Time and Motivation
If you’re already used to an idle lifestyle, you will probably find it quite challenging to change it. Adding more movement may seem like a chore and you’ll likely have difficulty staying motivated to move around more.
The trick, however, is to figure out how to incorporate more movement into your current routine, here’s how.
First, think about your typical day and the things you do, be sure to include at work, at home, and any activities you participate in regularly. Now, write them down and a sheet of paper or in a word doc.
Next, brainstorm ways you can add more movement to those things you are already doing. For example, if you sit at a desk for hours at a time, challenge yourself to stand for 15 mins every hour rather than just sitting the entire time.
One tool I use is this free app called Focus Keeper. It’s designed to help you stay on task by working and really focusing for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute rest.
So basically, if you use this app to remind you to get up and move, you will increase your movement to 10 minutes every hour. Plus, you’ll be more productive in the process since taking little breaks frequently when working helps your mind stay sharp and keeps you from getting tired.
Now 10 minutes isn’t 15, but it’s still better than zero.
Plus, after a few weeks, you’re going to notice big changes in your energy levels and your moods, which will work wonders towards keeping your motivated to continue moving.
20 Simple Ways to Begin Moving More Every Day
Maybe you’ve come up with a huge list of activities you can seamlessly add into your schedule, but just in case you are struggling to figure out what to do, here is a list of 20 things to get you started:
- Move your trash can farther away from your desk, so you have to get up to throw stuff away
- Stand up and stretch once every hour
- When on the phone, stand up and walk around
- If watching TV, stand up and move around every time there’s a commercial break
- Only keep a small glass of water at your desk or seat, so you have to walk to refill your cup often
- Roll a tennis ball under your feet while sitting
- Park farther away from the entrance so you can walk more
- Keep track of your steps and set a daily goal for yourself
- Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair or sofa for at least half of the time you will be sitting
- Fidget, shake or bounce your legs, tap your feet or your hands, or use a fidget device
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator
- Walk your dog every day or if you don’t have a pet, walk yourself instead
- When picking up the house, take small loads to and from different rooms so you have to make more trips
- Turn on music that makes you want to move, then give in to the urge to do so
- If shopping for only a few items at the store, don’t grab a cart, carry the items instead
- If you live close to work or the store, consider riding your bike rather than driving
- Add a quick 10-15 minute walk into your lunch hour(or ½ hour)
- Stand and fold laundry while watching TV
- Get a standing desk or add it to your existing one
- Pull weeds in your yard or tend a patio garden
Moving your body is profoundly important and not doing so will have adverse effects on our physical and mental health. Stop making excuses about not having time, and instead figure out creative ways to incorporate some movement into your busy schedule.
Even adding in just 10-15 minutes of activity per hour into your schedule can help you stay healthier and be a happier person. Use an app or timer to help you stay on track so you won’t forget to move every hour. Those 10 minutes will add up quickly and before you know it, you’ll be feeling great.
Write down areas of your life where you can include more movement, then brainstorm ways to get moving. If you need some help coming up with ideas then check out the 20 simple ways to begin moving more every day listed above.
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