Do you shudder when you hear the word “exercise”? You aren’t alone if you do. What is behind your response – a dislike of sweat, an injury, a busy schedule?
There are many reasons why we may avoid exercise, yet it is critical for improving our overall health. What happens when you leave a tool with moving parts unused for a long time? It doesn’t move as well. And it’s the same for your body.
From the driver’s seat to the office chair and then the couch or recliner at home, Americans are spending more time seated than ever and researchers say it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies. Dr. James Levine has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle for years and has declared that
“sitting is more dangerous than smoking.”
The best approach to counter the negative effects of sitting is to incorporate more movement in your day. The target is to get at least 30 minutes of movement each day. You may find that you can do that in one block of time, or you may prefer to do your movement in intervals during your day.
I’ve got some good news! You don’t need to join the gym. You don’t need to buy fancy equipment. You can incorporate movement in many ways that won’t feel like a chore. Check this out …
12 Ways to Move During Your Day
- Take regular walks with family, friends, and pets in places that inspire you.
- Play with your kids in the pool or at the beach.
- Turn a “meeting over coffee” into a walk with coffee in hand.
- Jump on a mini-trampoline while watching television, or do a series of exercises (your choice) during commercials.
- Park further from stores and get extra steps (and get into the store before the people waiting for close parking).
- Take the stairs if you have the option!
- Bike or walk to work, a friend’s home, or to do errands.
- Use breaks at work to walk around the building with a co-worker.
- Housework – yes, that’s movement.
- Walk, rather than sit, while you are talking on the phone.
- Yoga, tai chi, pilates, water aerobics or other “low impact” classes.
- Join a community athletic league (and meet new people).
Strengthen your body and keep it moving comfortably with just 30 minutes of pulse-raising activity each day. Once you get in the habit of moving, you won’t want to stop. The trick is to find the form of exercise or activity that’s right for you – something you love and are excited about doing.
What have you chosen from the list for your first way to incorporate movement into your day – or did you have an idea of your own? I’m confident that as you move more, you will be energized by the change in your body.