10 Ways to Add Exercise to Your Daily Life
The modern world is built around convenience. We’re constantly looking for ways to make every aspect of our lives just a bit easier and more efficient. As a result, we end up moving less and becoming sedentary. We spend much of our day seated at a desk, at a table, in a car or on a train or bus. Physical activity ends up becoming a chore, something else we should be doing that we never really do, and as a result, our physical health suffers. Adding physical activity to your daily routine, even in small doses, can have a huge impact on improving both your physical and mental health. Check out the list of activities below that can help improve your work-life balance through physical activity:
- Instead of driving or taking public transit, try walking or riding your bike to work. This kind of cardio activity is a good way to wake up muscles in the morning and get them warmed up for whatever your day throws at you. Cardio exercise, even in short increments, is great for heart health, mental health, and weight management. It can also improve endurance and sleep, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system.
- If you cannot avoid driving, try parking in the back of the lot, or somewhere a bit farther away than where you’d normally park. You’d be surprised how many extra steps it adds to your day.
- When you get to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also do this anywhere you go, like at your local shopping mall. When compared to walking on flat ground, climbing the stairs uses different muscle groups, and will burn more calories. Stair climbing is a great cardio workout!
- Use your lunchtime or break for a walk! Walking for just 15 minutes can burn up to 60 calories. It’s also good for your mental health and your heart! Short intermittent walks during the day have lasting effects.
- Go to the gym. If it’s an option, take advantage of your workplace gym, as this is usually a very convenient option. If not, find a gym near your office or home. If you’re closer to the location, you’re more likely to go. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym every day! Go for shorter workouts a couple of times a week. And many gyms have classes that may motivate you to stay involved.
- Find friends who are interested in the same activities you are. This is great for motivation and moral support! Working out is easier and can go by faster when you’re enjoying yourself instead of thinking about how tired you are. You’re also less likely to skip your workout when you know someone is counting on you to show up! Be creative with the time you spend with friends – you could walk, go for a hike, or play a sport instead of just meeting for lunch or going to a bar. Being active or exercising together is a great opportunity to socialize.
- Try working out early in the morning. The endorphins our body releases, when we’ve been working up a sweat, can lead to a good mood and increased productivity for the rest of the day.
- Schedule time for your preferred activity in advance. If you put the time aside, you’re less likely to sit out on it later. And you are much more likely to work out if you are accountable to meeting a friend!
- If you have a desk job, try opting for a treadmill desk, a standing desk or an exercise ball chair. These options require more stability from your body than slouching in a regular office chair and encourage frequent position changes. Changing positions every 30 minutes can lessen your risk of negative health consequences.
- Stand up and take a stretch break! Our muscles need to contract and relax to build strength and stability, but without stretching it can lead to tightness and discomfort. Try stretching your legs, arms, back, and core to prevent stiffness.
We know that making drastic changes to your daily routine is never easy. But even choosing one or two things from the list above can make a big difference in your physical fitness and your overall health. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can improve your physical well-being with physical or occupational therapy.