Did you know that only 48% of adults meet the CDC’s physical activity guidelines which recommend activity equivalent to three 10-minute walks, five days a week?
Daily physical activity doesn’t have to entail a two-hour sweat-fest at your local gym every day of the week. In fact, simply increasing the number of steps you take each day can begin to reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Below, New Look Institute suggests five simple ways to increase your daily physical activity levels that can be easily integrated into your routine without a huge disruption to your already busy schedule.
- Park Far from the Door. At the grocery store, at the bank, at work, wherever you drive to, park on the far side of the parking lot. You’ll spend the same amount of time walking to the door as you would have in parking lot traffic while trying to get to a front row spot, and on top of that, you’ll get the added bonus of squeezing a brisk walk into your errands.
- Take the Stairs. We’ve all heard this one before, but then we tell ourselves that we’ll take the stairs... starting next time. Start today! Take the stairs. Even if you begin by just getting off of the elevator one floor earlier this week and then two floors earlier next week, you’ll be getting into the habit of adding an excellent aerobic activity to your typical day.
- Play! Play with children. Play with animals. Just play! Using interaction with children and pets to increase physical activity benefits both the individual and those that they are playing with. Crawl around with your child, niece, or grandchild. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbor’s dog. It’s fun!
- Do Housework Purposefully. Whether you’re gardening, doing dishes, folding laundry, or sweeping the floor, housework is physical activity. You have the choice to do these chores regularly with energy and pace or to do them intermittently, sluggishly, and using as few of your muscles as possible. Rather than folding laundry while sitting in a chair once a week, do so daily while standing and do a squat each time you bend down to pick up a piece. Dance while you sweep the floor!
- Drink Lots of Water. We love this last one from Travis Saunders who says, “If you are constantly sipping water throughout the day, you are going to have pee at least once an hour. Every time you have to pee, you have a guilt-free excuse to go for a 5-minute walk to the washroom and back! To crank it up a notch, use a washroom in another part of your building, which may give you an opportunity to use the stairs as well. It’s easy to forget to take a 5-minute walk-break every hour, but it’s impossible to forget to go pee.” Check out his added bonus of this technique at the website he writes here.
New Look Institute encourages healthy and confident habits in all areas of our clients’ lives.
Photo credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr Creative Commons
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