Is it just me or do you constantly feel like you’re on the go?! With the start of the school year, football season around the corner, and before you know it the holidays will be here, I just know the rest of the year is going to be a blur. Even in this fast paced world we live in, most of us live fairly stationary lives and it can be a challenge to find some time to be active. I sit behind a desk at work from 8 AM to 4 PM then I work on my blog when I get home. It can be draining and hard on my body so I make it a priority to get moving when I can. Our bodies are made to move! It’s not natural to sit all day and squeezing in time to workout can be tough, so I’m sharing a few tips that I’ve been incorporating in my daily life to get some extra activity in!
Take the stairs.
I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it really helps! Whenever you’ve got to go up, there’s always that moment when you pause and contemplate taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Now, if you work in a skyscraper, or live on the 10th floor of an apartment building, I’m not recommending for you to exhaust yourself to walk up all those stairs. Start off small and challenge yourself to get walking a little more, whether it’s just one flight of stairs or even walking down stairs. I work on the third floor at school, so I always take the stairs. It’s a great way for me to get moving early in the morning, and not to mention it helps tone my legs. Yes ma’’am! I also always take the stairs at the mall and when I park in parking garages, instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
Park a little farther away.
Whether I’m getting a few extra steps in before I park it at my desk at work or in a chair at the movie theater, or if I’m trying to get a jump on my shopping steps at the grocery store or mall, this is something I always do. Don’t look for the convenient parking spot (unless it’s raining, of course). Park in a farther away parking spot to get some extra steps in. It may be very tempting to park in a prime princess spot that’s open, but turn your car around and park a few extra feet away. You might think it’s a pain in the beginning, but you’ll quickly make it a habit in no time. And it won’t even feel like that much of an extra effort.
Walk or bike to places.
I know most people typically say walk or bike to work, but let’s be real, not everyone lives near their work where that’s possible. If you can, power to ya! To drive to my work takes 25 minutes, but if I walked, it would take me 3 hours and 27 minutes. No thank you! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t places near your house that you can walk or bike to. For example, my grocery store is just around the corner from our house, Walgreens is two blocks over, Smoothie King is an 8 minute walk, and so many other opportunities. My standard rule of thumb is if I can walk there in 15 to 20 minutes, then I don’t need to drive. Same thing goes for bike riding. If it takes me 15-20 minutes to ride my bike there, then I don’t need to drive. And a bonus, it’s good for the environment!
Stand while you work.
Majority of us spend so much time sitting at work, and it’s causing serious damage on our bodies. Our bodies were not made to sit for 8+ hours a day. If you can, try standing while you work. I know that may be easier said than done. One of the best ways to do this is by using a standing desk that are adjustable if you want to stand or sit. You can even set your laptop on a tall counter so you don’t keep hunching over all day at a desk. If you can’t do either of those things, at least try to take a break from sitting at your desk every hour or so, which brings me to my next tip…
Take breaks to stretch.
Like I said, sitting for long amounts of time is not normal for our bodies. It’s not natural. During your day, pay attention to your body and how it’s feeling. I love to break up my desk time with a combination of stretching, walking, and standing when I feel cramped, tired, or if I just need a pick-me-up. Do a 1-minute stretch session, jog in place, do some jumping jacks, walk to the faraway bathroom. Just do something to get your blood flowing and your muscles stretched while you’re working hard being a boss.
Walk while you talk.
Whenever I’m on the phone, I try to walk around. If I’m at home, I will pace around the house. If I’m at work, I’ll put my phone on speaker and pace around my office. Another way you can get some more steps in is to schedule walking meetings. Being outdoors is said to increase happiness and productivity. Walking meeting + being outside = super productive and positive meeting!
Sit on a Pilates ball.
This is something I absolutely want to start doing for so many reasons! When you have to sit for long periods of time, swap out your work chair for a Pilates ball so you can be a little more active, even while you’re sitting. Sitting on a Pilates ball challenges your core to keep you balanced AND it will help your posture – TWOFER! And who can resist bouncing on it?! You can make sitting fun! Haha! If you’re feeling super wild and crazy, you can even roll back over it to stretch out your back. So many pros!
Engage your muscles in subtle ways.
So many people think you have to exercise to workout your muscles, but that’s not true! There are tons of small, easy ways to engage your muscles that you can perform throughout your day, anywhere, anytime. If you’re stuck in your office, trying doing squats or arm dips from your chair. Both of these don’t require you to really move from your desk. Away from the office, you can do modified push ups on the kitchen counter while you’re cooking, or do squats when there’s a commercial break from watching TV. You can even stand on one leg while you brush your teeth, which can help improve your balance. All of these things are simple, but will help improve your overall health.
Are there any little ways you use to stay active during your normal day? Let me know in the comments. I’m always open to new ideas!
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