Getting in some exercise and moving can be difficult. Especially in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Humans have evolved from a nomadic lifestyle to a sedentary one. In today’s society, people are conditioned to sit. We sit in the car on the way to work, we sit at a desk all day, we drive home and sit on the couch to watch a show. And we do this on repeat almost every day. Maybe we change it up on the weekends, move more and run errands.
This minimal movement is not enough.
This sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a number of health issues, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and depression. A 2017 study found that sitting for long periods is a risk factor for early death. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also lead to muscle degeneration, weight gain and back and neck pain.
“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” — Carol Welch
Getting in a workout is great, but recent evidence has shown that an intense exercise regimen won’t reverse the negative effects of constant sitting. While it is a good idea to get in a workout, it is also important to get some movement in throughout your day.
Regardless of what you do, just start moving.
Moving your body every day is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Movement improves circulation, regulates digestion, increases flexibility, improves joint health, helps regulate your weight, improves your sleep, improves productivity and creativity, reduces stress, increases mental clarity, improves focus and concentration and makes you an all-around happier person.
11 Ways to Move Throughout Your Day
- Go for a walk. Listen to a podcast, walk your dog, walk with a friend. Whatever gives you motivation.
- Do some yoga or stretch. This is a relaxing way to move the body. Take your time, roll out a mat and move. It is also a great way to move if you are sore or stiff from sitting.
- Park your car far away from the entrance of a store. Whether you are out running errands or heading to work try parking your car a little further than usual. This will help you get in some more steps and move as you go about your day.
- Drink a lot of water. Not only is water good for you, but it will also make you have to go to the bathroom more often, which will get you up and walking around.
- Set an alarm every hour to get up, walk around or stretch. Sometimes we can become so focused on what we are doing, we forget to take a break and end up sitting for hours on end.
- Play with your kids or your dog. Go outside, play fetch or run around with your kids.
- Turn on your favorite song and dance around your house. Let loose and have fun. Dance like no one is watching!
- Use shows or commercial breaks as a time to move. March in place, stretch, do sit-ups.
- Take the stairs when possible. If you work on the 15th floor of a building, that might be more difficult. But walk a few flights at a time and then take the elevator when you are tired. However, if you are going up a couple of flights, then walk those stairs.
- Take a short walk during your lunch break. After you eat, take a 10-minute walk around your office building. This will help you digest and move before you sit back down for the afternoon.
- Do calf raises while waiting in line or brushing your teeth. You’ll be shocked at how often you’ll find time to do calf raises while waiting in line.
Incorporating movement into your daily routine is key. These are realistic and sustainable steps you can easily start and keep up with.
It may be difficult to get that routine in place, but once you do you will feel all the better for it. Be creative and add some movement to your sedentary lifestyle.
Originally published on Medium.