Wednesday, September 23, 2015

15 Ways to Sneak Activity Into Your Day

Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines activity as "the state of being active."

Are you feeling overwhelmed? You want to start an exercise program, lose weight, or start healthy habits but you have so many responsibilities and not enough time. When you do have enough time, you feel like you are mentally and physically zapped. Once you start to move more, and/or lose weight, you know that you will be feeling so much better. But starting off can seem so daunting. Never fear, there are some sneaky ways to fit more activity into your daily life and to be able to get things done at the same time.

1. Desk Exercises: Working at a desk all day, try doing 3 sets of these exercise throughout the day.

A. Do 15 toe taps for each foot.
B. Sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat. Extend the leg out straight, hold for 2 seconds; then lower your foot but stop right before you touch the floor. Hold for several seconds then switch. Repeat on each leg for 15 times.
C. To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hovering over the seat. Hold for a few seconds. Complete this exercise 15 times.

2. If you tend to get distracted by your daily tasks, set an alarm to remind your self to take a break. Place it far enough away so that you have to get up and walk over to turn it off. Stretch your arms and legs for a few seconds after turning off the alarm.
3. TV time does not have to be sedentary time. Set up a treadmill, elliptical machine, or a stationary stand for your bike, and squeeze in a workout while you watch television. Clear a space where you can do floor exercises, lift weights, or do leg lifts with ankle weights while watching TV. Take advantage of the commercial time.
4. Park farther away from the grocery store or place of business.
5. If your work has an elevator, take the stairs instead.
6. Walk around while talking on the phone.
7. Do calf raises while standing at the stove.
8. Yard work: Gardening provides fresh air, sunshine, and is a good arm workout.  Pull weeds, pick up fallen branches, trim the hedges, or rake the leaves. Pruning is a serious arm workout that you will feel afterwards. Yard work increases your physical activity, is physically taxing, and like cleaning, it uses a range of muscle groups.
9. Spend quality time with your kids, turn up the music and dance or challenge each other to Kinetic Sports.
10. Have a "walk and talk" meeting rather than sitting at a desk.
11. Work while standing instead of sitting.
12. If balance permits, dance a little jig while dusting, sweeping, or mopping.

Photo courtesy of OurSoleIntent
 13. Do a few squats while brushing your teeth.
14. Stay Active: If the playground is not too crowded, climb on the toys with your kids. At your child's practice, don’t just sit and watch, walk around the playing field or along the sidelines.
15. If your office or home does not have a standing desk, take several standing breaks by standing to perform tasks such as making phone calls, typing out a text or even checking your email on a mobile device.

You will be surprised to see what a big impact small changes can make. Here is to being more active!

- Michelle