Many of us are missing out on the benefits of regular physical activity. But being active doesn’t always mean clocking in long hours at the gym. When you really want to, there are plenty of ways to include physical activity in your daily routine.
Small ways to stay active
It’s ironic that our lives are so fast-paced yet our lifestyles are so sedentary. Instead of going out for lunch, we opt for food deliveries. To go up two floors, we choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs. These are just some examples of activities that we tend to take for granted. When you think about it, we could have burned a significant amount of calories doing these small tasks.
Adding simple activities like these to our daily routine is an easy way to get in shape and stay active:
1. Increase the intensity of your daily tasks.
Whether you’re mopping the floor or walking to the neighborhood grocery, try to increase your pace for a bit. The vigorous bursts of movement during these regular tasks are sneaky ways you can burn a few calories.
2. Take the stairs.
Walking up 3 flights of stairs can burn as much as 15 calories. Doing this is also a good way to strengthen your legs. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels, boosting your heart health.
3. Improve your posture.
Standing or sitting straighter not only makes you appear taller; it also burns extra calories. Here is a trick you can try: stand or sit with your arms at your sides. Then picture that you’re trying to keep a pen vertically between your shoulder blades. Hold the imaginary pen for 6 counts and repeat 10-12 times.
4. Treat bags as weights.
Carrying your bags or groceries is a good opportunity to burn calories and strengthen your arms. Try taking extra trips to the car to carry your groceries to burn a few extra calories.
5. Stretch while waiting.
We spend a lot of time waiting in line, so we may as well take advantage. Sneak in a few stretches while waiting for your printouts at the office or while standing in line at the bank. This also helps get your blood flowing after sitting down for long periods.
6. Engage in sports or games.
Even a quick game of basketball or playing tag with your kids can really get your blood pumping. You get to spend time with friends too! Tip: it’s never too late to get into running, biking, or swimming.
7. Dance at home.
Crank up your favorite beats and just dance it out! Not only does it burn calories, it also helps you de-stress after a long day.