We’ll admit it – finding time to exercise during the day can be hard. You spend 8 hours of your day at work, you commute home, you drive your kids to their activities, you make dinner, you get ready for bed… it seems as if there aren’t even enough hours in the day to get the physical activity you want. For many people, it seems like exercise is an all or nothing task. It can be difficult to find the time and energy.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can add physical activity into your daily life, without even having to make a trip to the gym or schedule in a workout. By following some of these simple tips, you can significantly improve your physical activity!
1. Don’t take the easiest route.
We generally try to get from one point to another in the quickest way possible. We take elevators, we park close to entrances, we enter and exit the doors nearest to us… But other than saving time, this doesn’t add any long-term value. Try making it a habit to take the stairs at work or to park at the back of your grocery store’s parking lot. These simple acts can add significantly more physical activity to your daily life.
2. Find convenient times to walk.
We all get a lunch break, and we can easily use that time to make healthy decisions. Instead of eating at the office cafeteria, walk down the street to order food (and make sure to get something healthy!) Or, you can use your entire lunch break to take a walk or go to the gym.
By opting to do this, you can bring a bagged lunch and eat at your desk either before or after your exercise. This will give you a designated period of time every day for physical activity.
3. Add more exercise into your daily life… by being sneaky!
Ideally, we’re supposed to get up and move around every 30-60 minutes throughout the day to initiate stronger blood flow, and to allow our bodies to stretch and warm up. But how many of us actually do that? (The answer – not many.) However, you can achieve this by tricking yourself into getting up more often.
Maybe you use a smaller glass for your water than usual, so you have to get up and go to the sink every time you finish it. Or, maybe you make a trip to the copy room every time you have to use a stapler or hole puncher, instead of keeping your own on your desk. By ridding yourself of these small “conveniences” that we create for ourselves, you’ll be able to get up and move around much more than you would otherwise.
4. Opt for standing, rather than sitting.
This may be one of the easiest ways to get exercise – simply by standing in place! While it may not seem like much, standing is significantly healthier than sitting. You burn more calories by standing, and it is incredibly helpful to your posture as it decreases the ability to slouch or hunch over. It also helps in keeping blood sugar steady after a meal, and it encourages more movement overall.
5. Add in exercise – while also getting chores done around the house.
By doing chores for 20 or 30 minutes a day, organizational experts believe you can achieve a cleaner and healthier lifestyle. In addition, you can also get a bit of a workout in! Vacuuming, doing dishes, taking out the trash, and doing laundry all demand physical activity.
By taking time out of the day to do chores around the house, you’ll be able to get exercise AND do the tidying up that you’ve been putting off. Win/win!
6. Keep the workout equipment in sight.
Keep workout equipment in an easy-to-see view around the house. Lay your yoga mat out in front of the TV. Keep your 5-pound weights on the side of the desk. By keeping your equipment in sight, it’ll increase the probability of you using them (because let’s face it, who’s going to rummage through their hall closet to find their yoga mat at the end of the day?)
Make it a habit of working out around the house while doing your daily activities, such as watching the news, cooking dinner, or even sitting at your computer.
7. Contact us for more advice!
If you’d like more assistance on how to get yourself moving, don’t hesitate to contact our Lynnwood, WA office today.
Your occupational therapist can provide you with a personalized plan to help get you moving in the ways you want. If pain is an issue, we can also provide you with pain relief methods and techniques. Occupational therapists are experts, so they are great resources to utilize when looking to achieve physical goals.