6 Easy Ways to Sneak in Exercise Throughout Your Day
By Nutra Active Team
It’s no surprise that many of us lead sedentary lifestyles. The older we get, the more difficult exercise seems to be. Yet the older we are, the more important exercise becomes for maintaining our well-being.
Did you know that excessive sitting might increase your risk of breast cancers? In fact, too much TV-time may actually end up taking years off your life!
Fortunately, staying active doesn’t have to be as dreadful as you’d imagine. Here are 6 ways to sneak in activity seamlessly throughout your day.
Skip the Elevator or Escalator
Easily accessible, free-of-charge, and with no equipment necessary, climbing stairs may be one of the most underappreciated forms of exercise. Choosing to forgo the elevator or escalator can help you burn around 8 to 11 kilocalories of energy per minute. Keep this up regularly, and you might notice just how much of a workout it can be—Harvard Health Publishing even states it can be more difficult than weight-lifting!
It’s no wonder stair-climbing has been associated with health benefits for your heart, bone and lungs. Escalators and elevators may have long queues, so not only would taking the stairs help you reach your destination faster, you’d be burning off extra calories as well.
If you live on a high floor in an apartment building, try climbing the stairs to at least the 3rd floor first, before then taking the elevator. You can even turn this into a challenge! Simply add one more floor to climb for that day to make it more engaging in the long run (extra points if you’re able to climb even higher!).
Train During TV Time
Instead of lounging on your couch and scrolling through the channels mindlessly, you can turn your television time into an opportunity for some physical activity. Simple home exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, or lunges are convenient to do in the comfort of your living room.
Every time a commercial break comes on, aim to complete a circuit of these basic beginner exercises depending on your fitness level. For more of a burn, challenge yourself with a full 30-minute light calisthenic workout while the television program is running. The TV can serve as a nice distraction from the fatigue!
Replace Your Chairs
Sometimes, the last thing we’d want to do after a long day is exercise while watching our favorite shows. But this doesn’t mean you have to remain idle.
Place an exercise ball in your living room as an alternative for you to sit on while watching TV. Doing so forces your core to engage as you work to stabilize yourself. Even small changes like this, accumulated over time, can have a beneficial effect for your health.
Cherish House Chores
You might not enjoy them, but performing household chores is another effective way to sneak in a calorie-burn. After all, getting on all fours to wash your bathroom floor isn’t exactly an effortless task, nor is dragging a heavy vacuum cleaner up a flight of stairs.
For an added challenge, try to actively engage your muscles at specific time intervals. This could be as simple as doing a lunge every couple of steps you take, or working your core muscles for 2 minutes while taking a break.
Spark That Inner Child
Children rarely need motivation to stay active. One of the reasons this is so is because they’re simply having fun playing! While you may not have the same energy to frolic as freely as children, there are still multiple fun activities you can do to enjoy staying active.
For example, not only are pets joyful companions to have in your life, they can be the accountability buddy you need to force yourself to exercise. Pets need to remain active, which in turn, forces you to get moving as well.
Also, whenever you have to walk from place to place, opt for the longer, scenic route as opposed to your usual stroll down the block. You will burn more calories and may appreciate the novelty that comes with exploring new terrain as well.
Whether you enjoy playing with your grandkids, or feel like flying the kite that’s been gathering dust in the attic—whatever your choice of activity, there are endless possibilities to help spark that inner child to get active!
‘Earn’ Your Food
Many people struggle with healthy eating and might compensate unhealthy dietary habits with exercise. When this happens, they have, in effect, relegated exercise as a sort of ‘punishment’ they have to go through.
Try to reprogram your relationship with exercise by doing the following: upon waking, do a couple minutes of bodyweight exercises in the morning before having your breakfast. This can help you retrain the way you think about food and exercise; the food being the ‘reward’, and exercise being the means to get it.
This can translate to other areas of your life as well!
If you’re at a mall looking for food, make sure you earn the right to eat by first putting in those extra work by climbing stairs as opposed to using the escalator.
You can also earn your morning shower—ensuring you complete a quick workout first thing in the morning before you start your day.