As a society, we’ve become accustomed to moving faster, working harder and working longer. It can often be a struggle to keep up with even the simplest tasks of our everyday lives, so it’s natural to find excuses for putting personal health on the back burner.
It’s easy to become jaded and stagnant in our routines, but you must remember this one important truth – you only get one body. You must respect it.
Once you make the decision to start moving towards a healthier version of you, rest assured that the physical and mental benefits will be well worth the effort. In addition to gaining a stronger, healthier body, exercise also makes you happier and improves intellectual acuity.
So, it’s time to stop putting it off, to stop thinking of fitness as a far-fetched, dream state-of-mind that you might get to one day. That day is today and every day. It’s time to stop thinking of exercise as something that requires you to pack a gym bag, change clothes and travel long distances. Exercise can happen at any time and can be achieved in many forms.
Exercise can be easily incorporated into your daily routine in small ways that you may never have imagined. All it takes is a few simple changes, and you will be in better shape in no time and well on your way to becoming fit, flexible and fabulous!
Here are five easy ways you can incorporate more movement into even the most mundane, daily tasks:
- Walk and talk. A seemingly obvious solution, walking is one of the easiest and healthiest forms of exercise that you can do absolutely anywhere. This simple act stimulates your mind, improving creativity, concentration and conversation. Next time you need to make a phone call, do so while going for a walk in your neighborhood. If you’re at work, suggest walking meetings. Instead of going to chat with your girlfriends at the coffee shop, head to the park to walk and talk.
- Park your car further away from your destination. Whether at work or at the market, you’re probably noticing a trend – all of the parking spaces closest to the entrances are full, while there’s nothing but wide open space as you look farther into the distance. All of those people who park closest to their destinations are missing out. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get some extra movement in your day, so park as far away from those doors as you can.
- Walk more at work, and always take the stairs. It’s all too easy to just settle into our work nooks and sit still for those eight (or more) hours of our work day without much more movement than the effort it takes to pick up the phone. But, seeing as we spend as much as a third or more of time at our place of work, it is absolutely vital to get up and start moving. All it takes is a little thought and creativity. You can incorporate more movement into your work routine by getting up to go see a colleague rather than sending them an email. You might also start volunteering to make your coworkers coffee so that you can walk to the coffee room and then to their desks. Start walking to the water cooler at regular intervals throughout your day, or even the mailroom instead of waiting for delivery. You should also try to go for a walk during your lunch break, and always take the stairs.
- Break up your sitting time. The fact is, even if you exercise for an hour each day, it won’t fully compensate for those 10 hours you spend slumped in different chairs. There’s a simple solution – just stand up! Sitting down constricts circulation, slows your metabolism and turns down muscle activity. When you sit for extended periods, you are essentially parking your body in neutral, which is absolutely not what you want to happen. If you’re at work, take small, frequent breaks (when possible), whether you get up to go to the bathroom, step outside for some fresh air or simply walk a lap around the office. You might also consider asking for a stand-up desk. Remember, the goal is just to keep your body in motion.
- Sit on the floor at home. This may seem a bit odd, maybe even a bit childish, but this is actually the point. It’s one of the best things you can do if you’re just sitting around at home. It is all too easy to sit on a couch, essentially motionless for hours on end while streaming through an entire season of your favorite program on Netflix. If you sit on the floor for that same amount of time, however, you will be squirming, adjusting and stretching so that you’re body is in constant motion, changing from one position to another.
Finding new ways to incorporate movement and exercise into your day can be easy; you just have to get a little creative and keep that motivation toward becoming the healthiest you possible.