Getting the body moving makes a huge difference in improving health. We all know that’s no secret. There is a great article by NPR from November 2018 that spells out clearly how much exercise is recommended daily for children and adults per the latest guidelines:
*Approximately 22 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity for adults
*60 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a day for kids
It also highlights the great benefits exercise produces, such as preventing or reducing the progression of diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and dementia to name a few. They throw in great tips on how to incorporate little bits of movement throughout your day too. A key tip in both the NPR article and an article published by the US government’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion about the Top 10 Things to Know about the latest guidelines is simply put: move more, sit less.
It really can be easier than you think. With a little effort, adding steps or sitting less truly can be achievable.
Here are my top 5 ways to squeeze in more movement throughout the day:
1. Take the stairs instead of elevators: What an easy way to get the heart rate up! And believe it or not, I sometimes beat the elevator up to the second floor at my workplace. Talk about a sense of accomplishment!
2. Stand up during meetings: Sometimes my work meetings can run for 2 hours or more. (Anybody else been there?) After about an hour in, I stand up and move toward the back so that I’m not disruptive but still engaged in the meeting. If it is appropriate in your work setting, it’s a great way to sit less...at least for part of the time.
3. Walk out to the parking lot: Sometimes I literally only have 7 minutes for a break. It looks like this: I take 1 minute to walk down the stairs down to the parking lot, I walk 2.5 minutes out and walk the 2.5 minutes back, and then it takes 1 minute to get back up the stairs. My walk took 7 minutes total, I got some fresh air, and I also did a flight of stairs. Not too shabby for a 7 minute break!
4. Park further away from the building: Whether it’s on the days I drive to work (fortunately the weather still allows me to bike to work, even though the mornings are feeling a lot crisper recently), or when I head to the grocery store, parking further away from the door allows for more steps and less stress. (There are always available spots further back and you find them with ease!)
5. Stretch between work tasks: I get it. We’re all busy! Sometimes I can’t do any of the aforementioned tips either when I’m really on the go. So what I do try to do then is at least raise my arms up over head, or stretch a leg out one at a time, while I’m sitting at my desk between patients. It literally takes about 30 seconds, and it definitely will make a difference in the long run because a 30-second stretch is better than no stretch.
What is a way you add more movement into your day?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear!