Would you like to have more energy and get in better shape?
How about losing a few pounds?
Adding some additional activity to your day has many health benefits including reducing risk of heart disease and depression and increasing energy and happiness.
Read more for 20 simple ways to add more activity to your day.
Work + Workout is my favorite type of Multitasking.
I believe in mixing my exercise with my work and home routines to get more accomplished faster. In other words, adding brisk stair climbing and walking while I’m getting my house clean is a perfect combination. Mixing exercise with your daily errands, house tasks and work is a perfect type of multitasking that is good for your health! Why pay for a gym when you can add fitness to your daily routine?
Adding exercise to your day should be easy, inexpensive and not take too much time. Walking is the simplest, low impact type of activity to add to your daily routine. You can also try stretching, yoga and easy weight workouts. Some of my favorite routines include body weight exercises and kettle bells. Make it social to make it more fun by adding friends. Add music when you can, to help pick up your pace and motivate you to workout longer.
Health Benefits of Walking
Walking regularly can help you reduce the risk of health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Walking can also have mental health benefits like reducing depression and anxiety and boosting self esteem. Light intensity exercise like walking helps improve flexibility, endurance, balance and agility. News reports are everywhere: we all need less sitting and more walking, so get started!
Adding Exercise Around the House
1. Start your day earlier. Wake up 15-30 minutes earlier to add in some walking, hand weights or body weight exercises. Adding some exercise in the morning helps boost your calorie burn throughout the day. I notice that I have more energy at work on the days I do a better workout. My kettlebell and squat routine days give me a boost all day.
2. Use the stairs in your house more. While you are cleaning or getting ready for work, take advantage of the stairs to go up and down as many flights as possible. Yes, go out of your way to make extra stair trips! I stopped leaving items on the stairs to bring up “later”. Now I bring items up and down as soon as I find them out of place.
3. Wear house sneakers instead of slippers. This is one of my favorite tricks; it has made a huge difference in my activity level. I stopped wearing slippers in the house and changed to slip on sneakers instead. Wearing my sneakers inside stops me from shuffling around the house. I walk much faster all day long, get more accomplished and burn more calories.
4. Create a home gym by using what you already have. Use steps for stair climbing or for a DIY aerobics step class. I use the two stairs in my den for a good step-class workout. Use a wall for balance exercises or wall sits- great thigh exercise. Use the arm of a couch for planks, dips, pushups and more. If you don’t have hand weights, a thick book or large water bottle is good improvising.
5. Speed Cleaning your house. Clean faster and add more activity. You can set a timer to see how much you can get done in a short period of time. Every time you find something that belongs upstairs, bring it! Wear your house sneakers and headphones to help move faster! Ruth from Living Well Spending Less, has an excellent list of room by room speed cleaning tips Here. Get a cleaner house and exercise at the same time = Win!
6. Clean out your garage, basement or shed. All the bending, lifting, moving, carrying and twisting is a good full body workout. Besides the workout, you regain valuable storage space in your house. While you are cleaning, you may find great items to sell at a Yard Sale or on Craigslist.
Adding Exercise at Work
7. Stop Sitting so much! Get out of the chair more often at work. It’s good for your whole body and for your mind as well. While you are up and moving drink some water to rehydrate. Visiting the water cooler and bathroom on the far side of the building or even on another floor get more activity in your trip. Try using a shelf in your office as a standing desk when you can.
8. Use your lunch time. Take 10-15 minutes out of your lunch time and add a walk inside or outside. Coordinate a time with co-workers to help keep you motivated to walk together. Start with one day a week and then increase it.
9. Have a walking meeting with a co-worker. Instead of sitting in an office talking, take your meeting outside or around the building. If your job involves lots conference calls, use your cell and either walk around your office or outside when you can.
10. Start walking at a brisker pace everywhere. No more casual strolling! Do this everywhere you go, not just when you go out for a walk! I work in a school building and always walk very quickly up and down the halls. Many people used to ask if I was late for a meeting or if everything was ok! Now they know that is my normal pace!
Adding Exercise Around Town
11. Evening Errands. Instead of doing all your errands on the way home from work, save one or two for later. After dinner, go to one of the stores that is open late and add more walking while you are there. If you have a large superstore visit, park far away when you arrive. While you are in the store, take a lap or two around the perimeter to get some extra walking. Then finish your shopping and head home. Errands + Exercise is good for you!
12. Start Wearing a fitness Tracker. Using a tracker can definitely inspire you to be more active each day. If you don’t have a fitness tracker for counting your steps, it is not a bad idea to try one. The recommended 10,000 steps first started in Japan to help sell pedometers. Now, the American Heart Association recommends using 10,000 steps as a guideline to help stay healthy by increasing your fitness and lowering health risks like heart disease. I have been using a Fitbit for years. It definitely helps push me to go the extra mile, literally!
13. Take up a new sport or activity. Try bike riding, canoeing, aerobics, water aerobics, paddle boarding. The first time I tried stand-up paddle boarding I was 46. I have now been doing it for years.
14. Perfect Parking – Don’t park close! Add walking by parking at the opposite end of the store your visiting. Out of habit, I park near Lord & Taylor at my local mall. I make a point now to park at the far end so that I can get in more walking.
15. Take a fitness class. Look in your community, school district adult education program, local gym or senior center. Try a new fitness class like yoga, Zumba, Pilates water aerobics. Join the class with a friend or your spouse to motivate you to show up.
Adding Exercise Out in Nature
16. Find a new park or nature trail. The same old walk route can get a little boring. Change it up by finding a new spot to try once a month or once a week. Meet friends to catch up on social time. Each person can take a turn finding a new spot to try.
17. Add some Hiking to your list. Hiking up and down hills is a great fresh air, cardio and leg workout. Your quads, hamstrings and calves will all get good exercise. Walking on the beach is another beneficial leg workout. Walking in the sand requires more exertion so if you live near the beach, take advantage. Your tendons and ligaments need to work harder when walking in the sand.
18. Measure your distance at the track. Finding a nearby walking track can help you time your distance. Try to set various mini goals for your track walking. Some ideas include: How many laps can you do in 10 minutes? Time your fastest ¼ mile, ½ mile and then try to beat it the next time. Increase your total number of laps each time you walk. Wear headphones to break up the monotony of the track.
19. Maximize your outdoor housework. Activities like gardening, weeding, raking leaves or snow shoveling all burn calories and work your muscles. Fresh air and more cardio are additional benefits of yard work. Outdoor work is a perfect way to get to multitask and get yard work completed and physical activity at the same time.
20. Look for new territory close by. Take a new walk in your own neighborhood. Being able to walk out the door for a stretch is good for your body and your mind. Find new routes to take with hills when possible. Remember to bring headphones! Music with a quick beat will help fuel your walk and keep you moving faster.