It’s important to stay active, especially when a big chunk of your day may be spent sitting at a desk. Even if you balance out your time in the chair with the trips to the gym, research shows that too much sitting can increase your risk of breast and colon cancers.
According to studies, an adult should get in a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity each week to keep the body in the best shape. 150 minutes sounds like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once. If you know how to spread your activity out during the week, it comes out to an easy 30 minutes a day over 5 days each week.
If you’re interested in boosting your health and trimming your waistline without spending extra money on gym or expensive equipment, here are 8 simple ways to include more activity into your day.
1. Walk More
Walking is one of the easiest, most convenient activities you can do. Whether outside or around the house, walking is a great way to get your body moving. All you have to do is walk faster and put in more time to each walk to burn more calories. For the most benefits, a healthy adult need between 4,000 and 18,000 steps daily and 10,000 steps (or about 5 miles) is the best target for each day. Walking more does have added value, especially when you walk briskly for a longer duration or up hills and slowly work up to 10,000 steps a day. If you can’t walk outside, try using a step-exercise video at home.
2. Clean Your House
Cleaning your home regularly is another way to ensure that you stay active during the week. Cleaning your house can incorporate a variety of muscle groups without you even realizing it. Activities like scrubbing the tub or vacuuming the house are great for working out your arms, and doing the dishes or dusting your house keeping you upright and on the move. To take it to another stage, squeeze your buns every time you take a step or try tightening your abdominal muscles when you take a break.
3. Dance it out
It’s hard not to be happy when you’re dancing. Dancing is a full-body workout that helps improve coordination, memorization, and flexibility, and most importantly, it makes your heart happy. You will also see a huge difference in your overall mood, decrease stress levels, and shed a few pounds. So, get off the couch, crank up the volume and unleash your inner dancing queen or king!
4. Sneak in Exercise During TV Time
Rather than being a couch potato as you watch TV, sneak in some exercise during that one or two-hour period. Try some jumping jacks, pushups, or other fat-blasting moves during commercial breaks. Squeeze in exercise while watching TV or whenever you have free time on your hands. There are also plenty of exercise videos you can find online to get your body moving while enjoying your favourite movie. If you’ve got some sort of exercise machine, park it in front of the TV and hop on as you start your TV time.
5. Stretch it out
Stretching is helpful in keeping your body feeling good, especially if you’re working in front of the computer for hours each day. Incorporating some simple stretches into your routine can help you avoid sore, stiff muscles and joints, as well as improve flexibility. If you can, take a break every couple of hours from work and do a few standing stretches. It will help you energize and re-focus when you get back to work.
6. Try out Pilates
Pilates has become increasingly popular over the past few decades. It isn’t just for the studio, it’s a great bodyweight exercise you can do at home. You don’t need any fancy equipment to get in a good workout right in your own home. Pilates is a great way to improve your posture and flexibility, especially when you spend most of your time sitting. It also builds strength and works on your balance in the long term. Research also shows that pilates can help manage chronic low pain and possibly even improve sleep quality in some people. There are many online videos offering specific aims, such as improving strength, relieving back pain and many more.
7. Do Laundry Squats
You can make laundry day a little more active by incorporating squats into your routine. Squats are a strength training exercise that will benefit you in many ways, such as improving flexibility, building muscles, strengthening your core, and building physical abilities and strength. Squats work up so many muscles at the same time without specific equipment. Set your laundry basket on the floor and squat down as you pick an item from the washing machine. Repeat until you get all of your laundries out of the washing machine.
8. Cook at Home
Most people don’t think of cooking as an exercise, but preparing food at home can burn more calories. Making your own meal also usually causes you to consume fewer calories than eating out or ordering in. It is also less expensive when cooking your own meal. To avoid sudden overwhelmed, do research on the recipe you want to cook and plan a trip to the grocery store to get all the needed ingredients. You can also make a bigger batch and keep it in the freezer so that you’ll have the meal on hand and can resist the temptation of ordering in. To make it even more fun, turn up your favourite songs to inspire your movement as you cook.
We all spend more time at home, which makes it easy to fall into a more sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to incorporate physical activities into our daily routines. Besides keeping you fit and healthy, regular physical activity can benefit you in a bunch of ways, such as improving brain health, maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening muscles and boosting your immune system.