15 Easy Ways to Move More Daily
Take advantage of every day!
Your sedentary lifestyle is killing you.
Sitting for long periods is proven to have a plethora of negative health effects, from obesity and high blood pressure to abnormal cholesterol levels and even risk for heart disease and cancer.
The solution is to find ways to move more. You’ll ward off diseases, feel better overall, and shed pounds (if you’re looking to do that). After all, standing versus sitting for six hours burns an extra 54 more calories per day for a 140-pound person, and that adds up!
We’re sharing these simple fitness tips you need to feel inspired to move every day… and do it. There may be days when you can’t make it to the gym, but the regular movement is possible. Even if you feel chained to your desk, these sneaky ways to get in movement will keep you active even on your busiest days.
Moving is in our nature
We all know exercise is important. Our bodies are built to move, so when you stop, it will start giving you hints that something’s got to change. Unfortunately, no matter how long you’ve been working out, if you go without movement for too long, you’ll start to notice a decrease in your physical strength.
Adults should aim to get at least 150-minutes of moderate or 75-minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week and two days per week of resistance training that targets all major muscle groups.
Here are some of the many benefits of moving more throughout the day:
Control your weight.
Improve your mental health and mood.
Increase your chances of living longer.
Improve your sleep.
Have more energy.
Improved brain function.
The good news is that you can sneak in small bursts of exercise throughout your day and still lose weight, build muscle, improve your health, and get all the feel-good chemicals of regular exercise.
15 ways to get more exercise even when you’re in a rush
#1 Take your work calls on a walk or while squatting
Are you chained to your desk? Fear not. Be sneaky. Every time you get a call, ask if you can move around while you talk. Move around for 5 minutes every time you hear your cell phone ring – if you can’t walk anywhere, march in place or do a small set of squats. You’re less likely to be idle when you’re focused on a task and moving around is much better for your health than sitting still when you don’t need to be.
#2 Use stand-up desks
There are plenty of options for standing desks that are cheap and/or creative. No matter what you choose, taking breaks from sitting will help keep your body more mobile. Transforming your desk is an easy way to sneak in an extra movement without needing a gym membership. Plus, it will keep you more focused!
#3 Set a timer every hour and stand up
It’s hard to do if you don’t know the time. Set a timer in your phone so you’re reminded at least once an hour to stand up, even when you’re not working.
#4 Dance around your desk workout
Just like in most cardio classes, slow dances can be boring if they become difficult. And while many people think jogging is bad for the knees and other joints, they may not realize that dancing while standing is even worse because it forces more weight onto your knee joints where it’s more susceptible to injury! When dancing around your desk at work you’re doing tons more than just getting a sweat going; you’re also toning some muscles that will make going upstairs or climbing racquetball nets a piece of cake!
#5 Visit the stairs more often
If there’s only one activity I could recommend to everyone, it would be stairs. They are easy to find, free (if you live in an apartment), and best of all – they work! Taking stairs instead of elevators can help give you a little boost of cardio daily, as well as strengthen your legs and feet.
Try skipping every other step, which will work your calves and glutes without bulking up your legs too much.
#6 Walk the long way if possible
Park far from the entrance of your destination so that you are walking an extra distance when you reach your final destination.
#7 Plan a walking meeting
If it’s possible, plan walking meetings with coworkers in places where it’s easy to walk around, like parks or by the water if you work by the ocean (or even just up and downstairs). Not only will this help increase activity during the day; but it will also help keep a small social network alive at work!
#8 Do push-ups every time before you scroll through social media
If you tend to scroll through social media while you wake up or while you’re in bed, it’s time to put a stop to that. Your body isn’t going to move unless your mind moves first, so start by choosing push-ups as a way to get into the habit of moving. It doesn’t take long! Do 10 push-ups before you scroll through connections and feel free to repeat the 10 push-ups after a few minutes of scrolling. The more time you spend glued to your phone, the more you need this simple fitness tip. Physical activity is one of the most important parts of health, and your body will thank you for making it a priority.
#9 Turn TV time into a fitness family game night
There’s no question that TV is highly sedentary. But there are ways to sneakily get in movement during commercial breaks. You can stand up and do lunges. Get up from your chair and do side lunges for 30 seconds or until the next break is over. Or do squats when the commercial starts. Same deal as above – stand up, sit down, repeat until it’s time to watch again!
Get a workout in from the comfort of your living room or family room. Sit on a yoga ball while watching TV and do your favourite stretch routine. Sit up with your feet flat on the floor while doing arm circles. Kick up your feet and do squats with your hands on couch cushions. If you can’t find a yoga ball, get an exercise ball and make some exercises that fit into what you’re already doing like squats and lunges.
#10 Clean house
This will give you more freedom of movement while you clean and will strengthen your core! If this seems too simple, ask yourself how long it will take if you sit down on a couch instead? You’ll quickly be done if you stand up and put all that energy into cleaning!
Hint: The kids can help clean too — just make sure to get them to help you put the things away from a little earlier so you can get moving!
#11 Walk your dog
Staying active with your dog is one of the easiest ways to get some steps in the day! Most dogs love going on walks anyway, but this is important for those who don’t have pets or other family members who would take them out for different activities so that they actually might walk more often as well. Take turns walking each other every once in a while too — especially if you live a very long way from the nearest park.
#12 Squat while you brush your teeth
If you brush your teeth in the morning, squat while you do it. It works your quads and lower body as you move your arms to brush. Squats also strengthen your core so you can maintain a good posture while brushing. Squatting strengthens the muscles that keep your knees stable and gives support to the muscles surrounding them, thus staying fit and healthy.
#13 Be the kid again
Start doing those childhood activities that gave you the motivation to move all over again. Start dancing, take part in active games, sing karaoke, or get on rollerblades. There are many ways to be the kid again!
#14 Watch your steps throughout the day
In the mornings before you leave for work or school, take some time on your wrist (iPad, phone, etc.) to see how many steps you have taken so far during the day. You can even go up to 1,000 and see how that works out!
This is also effective when you’re breaking up between eating and other activities as well. Counting your steps can help you get in a good amount of daily exercise without actually competing through sports or going too fast on the treadmill!
#15 Carry workout gear with you at all times
Even if you think it’s too early in the day to hit the gym or go for a run, chances are that there’s something nearby that will allow you to sneak in an effective exercise session.
Make sure your clothes are always ready for movement. Keep sneakers near the front door so that when an opportunity for movement presents itself (like being stuck in traffic on the way home from work), getting out and running around is easy!
Also, keep resistance bands in your bag so that you can perform easy mobility work wherever you are.