When you think of exercise, what images come to mind? Is it running a 5K in the neighborhood? Going to a gym to lift weights? Or maybe you think of all the social media ads you get for exercise equipment? Any of these scenarios can seem daunting, especially for someone who is just trying to find extra time to exercise after work.
Well, we’re here to tell you that you don’t need any of those things to incorporate movement into your day.
Exercise is not an all or nothing thing: you can break up movement across your day and don’t have to spend hours exerting yourself to have it “count.” In fact, all movement counts.
Whether you’re trying to find time to exercise or don’t know where to start, this article breaks down six simple ways you can work more movement into your busy day.
Take the stairs
This is common advice, but you’d be surprised what a difference skipping the elevator can make. Even just a few flights of stairs can increase your heart rate and improve your balance. You will also increase strength in your lower extremity, which includes hip, knee and ankle joints, and the bones in your thighs, legs and feet.
Park further away
If it is well-lit and safe to do so, parking your vehicle further from the entrance during your workday or errands can give you a nice boost to the 22 minutes of moderate exercise recommended each day. Those extra steps will add up!
Volunteer to walk shelter animals
Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help walk the animals in their care. This is a win-win for the animal and human! Or you can even give a furry friend a forever home and reap the benefits.
Try a new spin on family game night
Board games are great, but they aren’t the only option. If the weather allows, get outside and play some games, like tag, backyard baseball or hopscotch. You can also look into active videogames that the whole family can get on their feet and break a sweat to.
Move while you binge-watch
If you have some time to catch up on your streaming queue, why not take advantage of being a captive audience? You could do some simple stretches and basic workout moves while in the living room while you watch. Or if you use a stationary bike or rowing erg, you can watch while you move.
Turn chores into a dance party
Light cleaning can burn as many calories per hour as a brisk walk, so why not add a little more movement to the mix? The next time you do chores, turn up the volume and make it into a dance party! Who knew the mop was such a good dance partner?
The bottom line: When it comes to exercise, all movement counts. Take advantage of opportunities to add a little more movement in your day and you’ll feel the results!