Nothing feels better than relaxing after a long day. Unfortunately, most of us have long days that don’t include physical activity. Over 80 percent of American jobs require workers to spend most of their day sitting. That’s eight or more hours sitting at work, with even more hours sitting in front of the TV at home in the evening.
As a sedentary lifestyle becomes more common, so do medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. You’re also at an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
The good news is you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle! There are many simple ways you can get more exercise without really even trying.
Take the Stairs
There are many convenient ways to get around. You might take an elevator at the office, a ramp outside the store, or the escalator inside the mall. However, you’re missing an easy opportunity to increase your fitness if you always skip the stairs.
Walking upstairs burns more calories than nearly any other kind of physical activity. You don’t have to seek out a StairMaster either. Simply take the stairs whenever a staircase presents itself and you can burn calories that will add up over time.
Get up While Watching TV
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to unwind in front of the TV when you get off work. It may be a great way for you to forget about what happened during the day, or you may have a show you want to catch up on. Although you may be tempted to sit on the couch, get on your feet if you want to add a little more movement to your life.
There are many exercises you can do very easily while you’re watching TV. A few exercises to try include:
- Jumping jacks
- Chair dips
Any kind of movement is better than nothing. Find stretches and ways to move your body that feels good, and before you know it, you’ve spent an hour moving your body when you normally would have been sitting.
Park at the Back of the Parking Lot
Most people drive around a parking lot looking for the closest possible spot. It’s true that you don’t want to have far to walk if it’s raining, but if it’s a relatively nice day, consider parking at the back of the lot to get a little extra exercise.
It might take a few extra minutes to walk to and from your car, but you’ll also get the chance to move your body and take more steps. It’s even better if you have bags! Skip the shopping cart and carry them to your car at the back of the parking lot for an even better mini-workout.
Walk for Short Trips
If you live in a rural area, this may not be an option, but for many people, there are short trips we could easily take on foot instead of hopping in the car. For example, why not walk to the gas station or pick up a sandwich at the local sub shop instead of driving your car or ordering delivery for dinner?
Want to take the kids to the park? Have a friend or family member who lives nearby? Instead of taking your car, go for a walk. If time is an issue, ride a bicycle!
Take Walking Breaks
Walking really is the best way to get a little more exercise. You can always try and squeeze in a walk in the evening, but if you don’t have a lot of time to take walks, consider squeezing them into your breaks instead.
Many workers want to spend their break time watching videos or browsing the internet, but if you have a few minutes, why not use them to burn a few extra calories and move your body? Not only is it good for your health, but it can be good for your workday too. Walking can clear your head and re-energize you so you can focus the rest of the day.
Going to the gym, lifting weights, and working out for hours on end can increase your fitness, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you don’t have the time or the money for a gym membership. There are many quick and easy ways for you to add a little more physical exercise to your day without finding the extra time or spending any money.