20 Ways to Move More in Everyday Life (fitness made easy)
Need to move more in your day? Just about everybody does! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 20% of adult Americans get enough exercise in general. And that falls far short of the recommended 30 minutes of movement a day. What can you do to move more in your daily life? We have some great suggestions!
Why Should You Move More Each Day?
Movement is essential to staying healthy and keeping your body fit. Not only is it important to get your circulation going regularly, moving more each day can help keep diseases and health issues at bay, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and excess body fat, especially around your middle.
Many of us spend way too many hours a day sitting, and that means an increased rate of morbidity or early death. It really can be as simple as a dedication to move more each day, too. In fact, studies show that getting going (i.e., not sitting) for between 60 and 75 minutes a day can help you make vast strides with your fitness.
What is N.E.A.T.?
N.E.A.T. stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which means all the calories we burn from movement that is not exercise. Why is this an important concept? It’s critical because all the little extra movements you take during the course of your day add up in a big way when it comes to your health. Yes, it’s important to exercise every day, just as scientists suggest. But, it’s all the other activities you do where you just move more that will make the real difference for you and make it easier to keep weight off and stay healthy.
20 Ways to Move More Everyday
Add a few of these simple habits to your day and watch the extra pounds melt away more easily than you thought possible as you boost your health and fitness.
1. Walk-n-talk—yup, kill two birds with one stone by taking calls while you walk. Instead of your usual sitting and talking, try pacing or taking a walk while you’re on the phone. Before you know it, you’ll have 10, 20, 30 minutes or more of movement under your belt.
2. Print one page at a time—need to print a document? Be super inefficient and try printing one page at a time, getting up and walking to the printer, and then repeating the process for each page.
3. Take the stairs—yes, it’s an obvious one, but maybe you’ve overlooked it lately. Try to notice and come up with unique ways to take the stairs. Use the upstairs restroom if you’re downstairs and the downstairs restroom if you’re upstairs, for example.
4. Park as far away from the building as you can—it may not seem like much, but these steps add up. Just make parking far away everywhere you go a habit.
5. Walk the dog often—yes, Snoopy will appreciate it, and your body will thank you as well. Plus, the great outdoors provides additional benefits for both of you.
6. Make housework count—instead of dreading the usual clean-up chores, try looking at them as just another great way to burn off some extra body fat. Make it enjoyable by adding some tunes that get you in a dancing mood and help you pick up the pace.
7. Make TV time do double duty—if you are blessed with a piece of cardio equipment in your home, then, by all means, take advantage and place that gem right in front of the television set. If not, try walking in place or taking this time to stretch or do some yoga or other exercise moves.
8. Use the 30-minute rule—never let yourself sit in one spot longer than 30 minutes. Use an app with a timer or set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to get up and get moving, even if only for a minute or two.
9. Try a walking meeting—instead of sitting around the conference table, it’s a great time to take a walk around the parking lot or the building. Your coworkers will probably appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs, too.
10. Find out if you have a green thumb—gardening is a great way to burn off calories. Add a little yardwork while you’re at it, and you’ll be a calorie-torching machine with all the lifting, bending, raking, weeding, and more.
11. Stand up—just get out of the lying down or seated positions and stand up. Don’t lie down when you can sit up, don’t sit up when you can stand, and don’t just stand when you can walk.
12. Get your cardio on during commercials—if you’re watching television, why not harness the power of the natural breaks commercials provide. Instead of getting up to get a snack, take these few minutes for some cardio, walking in place, or maybe even doing some jumping jacks.
13. Keep track—monitor your physical activity and especially your steps. Being aware of how much you are or are not walking will help tremendously when it comes to moving the body and burning off body fat. Things that get measured tend to improve!
14. Make your workout time your reading time—multitask by listening to your favorite audiobooks or podcasts while you walk or work out, or read a paperback while pedaling on an indoor bike.
15. Meet up with friends at the barre—instead of going out to a restaurant or bar to catch up with friends, try meeting for a fitness class.
16. Join a team—the camaraderie aside, joining a team will put activity on the calendar for you and force you to get up and out.
17. Got moves? Break out the old dance routines to some of your favorite tunes while cooking or cleaning around the house.
18. Fidget more—yes, you read that right. Fidgeting often burns a lot more calories than you might think!
19. Be inefficient whenever possible—that means don’t try to bring all the groceries in at one time and don’t bring the whole load of laundry into the bedroom at once. Learn to “waste” energy whenever possible by making multiple trips, preferably up and down stairs.
20. Do mid-morning and mid-afternoon stretching and yoga sessions—even five to ten minutes spent on these activities can get your heart rate bumped up and simultaneously melt away excess stress.