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Moving more is an excellent method to maintain our physical and mental health, especially during this period of social isolation. In this article, you will find some tips to start moving more, without excuses.
One in every 4 adults in the United States sits for more than eight hours per day, and this lack of activity is detrimental to both mental and physical health. The American Heart Association, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to improving heart and brain health for all, is urging adults to move more and sit less during the day.
The rules for recommended physical activity The American Heart Association’s (AHA) include:
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week (such as walking).
- Another option is to engage in 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week (such as running or uphill hiking, rowing).
- Another option (preferably) is a combination of both, spread out over the course of a week.
- At least two days each week, including moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights).
- Reduce your sitting time. Even low-intensity exercise can mitigate some of the dangers associated with sedentary behavior.
- Gradually increase your amount and intensity.
7 Ways to Get Moving More
Here are 7 ways to move more in your daily life without taking more time out of your busy schedule!
1. Include walking meetings
Schedule a walk during one call per day if you work from home or use virtual conference calls.
If you don’t need to be staring at a screen or looking at spreadsheets, put on your headphones, put your phone in your pocket, and go for a walk to solve the world’s problems. It’s an excellent way to spice up your daily routine.
Take your one-on-one meetings with you if you work in an office. Walking together strengthens team bonding and may even lead to better ideas. Walking has been shown in studies to increase creativity and mental acuity.
2. Go up the stairs
This is so boring, and you’ve probably heard it a million times. Nonetheless, it is one of the best tips for a reason.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator raises your heart rate, improves your balance, and strengthens your lower extremities. If you have a few minutes and are feeling saucy, you can do some heel raises off the edge of a step for calf strength, or take the stairs two at a time.
Your body and heart will thank you if you avoid taking the elevator.
3. Park a long distance away
While we must be cautious and aware of our surroundings, if you are in a safe and well-lit area, consider parking further away from the entrance of wherever you are going.
Adding a few minutes of walking time here and there adds up over time and can help you reach your daily step goal!
4. Stretch or exercise while watching TV
During your next Netflix marathon, walk on the treadmill, ride a stationary bike, stretch on the floor, lift weights for upper- and full-body strength, or do Pilates.
If you move for 30 minutes while watching a 30-minute show, that’s 30 minutes of exercise you didn’t have before! If that feels like a good place to start, you can even limit it to when the commercials come on.
5. Take a seat on an exercise ball
Replace your office chair with a stability ball. This can help with back pain and improve posture, and you can do some gentle mobility stretches for your neck, pelvis, and spine while sitting on the ball.
To help activate your core stabilizers, try a hula-hoop motion and tucking and untucking your pelvis. If you want to do some abdominal work, try seated marches or other ball exercises — all while sitting at your desk!
6. Strike a pose
Try walking lunges down the supermarket aisles while holding onto the cart.
The cart provides a good balance point and depending on the length of your supermarket’s aisles, you can get about 10–20 lunges in a single pass. Go for it; it’s surprisingly enjoyable!
7. Adopt a pet
Volunteers are always needed at our local shelter and other adoption agencies. Bring the family to the shelter and volunteer to walk a few dogs.
You get to spend more time outside, help a dog and your community, teach your children about compassion, and spend some quality family time being active and moving your body. It’s a win-win-win situation for everyone.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week for adults, such as brisk walking or gardening, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running or aerobic dancing, or a combination of both intensity levels.
Furthermore, the Association suggests two days per week of moderate-to-high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity, such as resistance training.
Fitting in fitness isn’t all that difficult. You can get up and move almost anywhere, at any time, to be more physically active and healthy.
Every minute counts toward the goal of at least 150 minutes of activity per week. Every time you get up and accomplish something, you’re taking a step forward.
Begin with a few lunges here and there, a weekly walking meeting, or a few trips up and down the stairs, and before you know it, you’ll be moving and groovin’ much more than you were before.