10 Ways You Can Move More in Everyday Life
In most of the jobs we do these days, very few of us are in positions to be moving around for most of the day, besides walking from one place to another.
While there are some jobs when you will need to move or lift heavy things, this is usually not the case.
Understandably many people sit all day at work and when they get home, they want to lay down for a while.
This can lead to stiffness in your body, weight gain, anxiety, and depression.
It can also lead to heart diseases including heart attacks which claim too many lives each year.
So how do we solve these issues? Simple- increase movement in your everyday life!
Below are 10 ways that you can do just that:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator whenever possible
Now, this one might seem quite obvious and one that you can easily incorporate into your everyday routine. If there is no elevator/escalator available, then take the stairs!
When making this part of your routine, make sure to pace yourself. Many people find it quite challenging when they first started and may not be able to do it for a few days in a row before they resort back to using the lift or escalator again.
Take out your phone and start counting how many times you use the escalator or lift during a week and see if over time you can reduce it.
It might seem like a daunting number but with some perseverance and self-compassion, you will get there!
Most phones have some sort of sports app. If that's the case, try to use it at least once a day.
If you don't have one, download it right now so that you can have something scheduled for tomorrow or anytime this week.
Once downloaded, fire up the app and it should start counting your steps for you.
With a few weeks or months of regular use, you will see how many steps you have taken on average each day.
If there is a way to regularly take more walks throughout the day outside during your lunch break, then do it!
This not only helps with movement but also provides some much-needed sunlight which can act as an antidepressant and improve your mood.
While this one seems like common sense, not everyone follows it well enough.
It's important that you try to keep active whenever possible rather than sitting still—even if the activity is something simple like cleaning your house or doing some light stretching/yoga poses.
Park your car a little farther from work or school to take a walk
Now, this won't work with everyone. Some of us work in built-up areas where there is no possibility of parking farther away, but if you do have the chance to park a little further down then do it.
This will give you an extra two or three minutes of walking each day.
These extra minutes will add up to a few extra pounds being worked off which can have other benefits as well.
Tired of going to the gym every day? Try taking a 10-minute walk first thing in the morning after you wake up and before work/school.
Going for a morning stroll is not only good for your physical health but also makes sure that by lunchtime you won't be as tempted to indulge in unhealthy food choices.
In fact, those who do this tend to eat less during the day as they are more satiated from their 20 or 30 minutes of walking each morning. In turn, this will help with weight loss goals and even improve your mood!
Walk around during commercials when watching TV
If I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure how realistic this one is for everyone.
If you have the mental willpower to do this, then it's definitely worth a try.
It will only work if you are watching something on TV that has commercial breaks though.
If this is the case, then try to keep your mind occupied by playing a game of "I Spy" or something similar while there's no action or dialogue on screen.
This also works well with other forms of media such as music, movies, and books—there isn't a single moment in time when you can't think of at least one thing!
Stand up while talking on the phone or texting
Now, I bet you would never think of this one because we've become so accustomed to sitting and moving as little as possible.
When was the last time you actually stood up while talking on the phone? Chances are, you're probably never done it.
If your phone rings or someone texts, stand up. If they call again, stay standing until you pick up. You'll find yourself feeling less fatigued and more energetic during these calls.
Stretch before going to sleep at night
Very few people want to do any form of exercise before they go to sleep. To be honest, I don't blame them. However, if you can manage to do this little workout before going to bed, it will be a good way of encouraging your body to move as well as giving yourself some time to relax and wind down.
I know what you're thinking... stretching before bed means waking up earlier in the morning to do it – well, not necessarily!
If you wake up early and do the whole routine then that's great, but if you wake up late and can't find time during the day to fit it in then you'll have to make some sacrifices.
Walk Some of the Time
If possible, try your best not to drive everywhere. If there is a bus or train route near where you live/work/study/go out then use that instead of taking a car unless absolutely necessary.
Try going on walks with friends, family or colleagues too. It will help create healthy habits for all involved!
Take a brisk ten-minute walk after dinner (or any time)
Every little bit helps you know?
If you come home from work and feel like sitting down to relax, it's better for your body if you do something active first rather than spend the next few hours sitting on the sofa without moving an inch.
I find that taking a brisk walk outside at the end of the day really helps to clear my head and give me energy which I can easily carry into doing other things in my life.
If possible try to take regular breaks throughout your working day or during study breaks. This doesn't mean getting up every hour, but after every 45 minutes or so.
It also doesn't mean setting alarms either—if you can go by time rather than using an alarm, then that's even better.
Just keep in mind that a "break" isn't the same as sitting down and turning on the TV or playing a quick game of Minesweeper.
Breaks work best when you get up and move around instead of relaxing or staying seated for prolonged periods of time.
Dance around in your living room for five minutes when you get home from work
Again, I'm not too sure how many people want to dance around their living rooms—but if you can do it, then this one's for you! If you come home from work and feel too tired to move, try taking five minutes to dance about.
Play with your kids outside
This one is probably a given, but I thought I would include it just in case.
Playing with your kids outdoors is a great way of getting not just them, but you to move around and exercise more during the day. If you don't have any children then try playing with other people's kids!
Not only will this provide you with great exercise for you, but it also means you get to spend time with other kids too which are usually fun!
Do chores outside
If you have a garden at your house, take advantage of it by doing some outdoor tasks.
Think about things that need to be done around the house that involve moving more e.g. mowing the lawn or even raking leaves.
You would be surprised just how much energy you burn by pottering about in your garden for a bit.
Bonus - Get off the train one stop earlier/later
I know this might not sound like much, but if you do this every day it will add up and allow you to walk an extra mile or two per week.
If walking an extra mile or two doesn't seem like much, remember that taking small steps often leads to big changes—we all have to start somewhere!
So, there you have it. Ten ways you can move more in everyday life. Whether the activities are ones that you already do or not, it's always beneficial to find time to get moving during your day.
We all need to incorporate exercise into our lives, even if it's just a little bit.
Small steps lead to big changes so try these activities out and see how you feel!
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list.
If you have any additional tips for moving more in everyday life then please let me know by leaving a message below.
We would love to hear from you!