12 ways to sneak more physical activity into your day
Sometimes, 30 minutes of exercise feels like too much for one day, but what if you did a few five- to 10-minute movement sessions throughout the day?
Most people think they have to exercise for 30 minutes to an hour straight each day to see any benefit. But even small amounts of physical activity throughout the day can provide positive health benefits.
Numerous studies show that sitting too much is damaging to the body. The average person spends 12 hours a day sitting. That’s half the day.
But for many people, thinking about moving for the recommended 45 minutes daily can be overwhelming — especially if you’re not used to exercising or you’re feeling short on time. Being overwhelmed right at the start can mean that you give up on exercising altogether.
The key is to incorporate some movement — almost any movement — into your day to get started. With these small movement “breaks” throughout your day, it no longer feels like it’s too hard to do or like “work.”
Before you know it, you can work up to 45 minutes or even an hour of beneficial, maybe even fun movement every day. That can lead to improved health and wellbeing.
Here are 12 ways you can squeeze more movement into your day.
- Walk in place while watching TV.
- Take a 10-minute walk around the block after dinner.
- Do five lunges while you wait for your coffee to brew.
- Do calf raises while you brush your teeth.
- Dance to your favorite song after breakfast.
- Dance while doing household chores, such as sweeping or vacuuming.
Out and About
- Park farther from your destination.
- Take the stairs, if possible.
On the Job
- Do a few stretches at your desk.
- Combine phone calls with walks.
- Turn your workstation into a standing desk, if possible.
- Every hour on the hour, get up and do a 15-second stretch to get your blood circulating.
These activities may seem very small, but over time, they will become easier to do. Before you know it, these small movements will become part of your day. And as time goes by, you can continue to build on these small habits.
Always talk to your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.