Being physically active is a major step toward good heart health. It’s one of the most effective tools for strengthening the heart muscle, keeping weight under control and warding off the artery damage.
The modern lifestyle is far from an active one. Many of us spend hours sitting down, either working, watching TV or driving in our cars. Simple daily efforts and habits can infuse more activity into our life without taking up a lot of time we don’t have. Below are 10 easy ways to fit exercise into our daily lives.
Try these for a couple of weeks, you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel!
- Sneak in Steps
I know, we’re all busy. Thinking of setting aside extra minutes in the day to walk sounds stressful. Be sneaky! Park further away at the grocery store. Walk to the corner store to pick up coffee instead of driving. Go for a walk with your spouse or a friend and catch up on the day. Walk in place while you wait or while you brush your teeth.
We all have to do it so might as well burn calories while doing so. Clean vigorously…an intense tidy session can burn up to 200 calories per hour. That’s a win-win!
- Take the Stairs
Taking the stairs whenever possible is a quick and easy way to break out of that sedentary lifestyle. The stairs are often right there in front of you. Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 6lbs of weight loss over one year. Plus, you don’t have to listen to elevator music!
- Pick up a Basket
Next time you’re at the store, grab a basket instead of a shopping cart. It’s an automatic weightlifting session.
- Go Outside
Mow the grass, plant flowers, wash your car. You’ll save money, burn calories and get fresh air in the process.
- Get a Dog
Taking a dog for a walk is a great way to be active. Pets need activity and can be great accountability partners to get at least a short walk in daily. If you don’t want to get a dog, contact a local shelter or rescue group. Most of them welcome (and appreciate) volunteers to walk those precious pups!
- Make it a Habit
Find an activity you enjoy and make it fun. Listen to music while you do it, attend a class with a friend, enjoy the alone time. Try several different workouts/activities until you find something you like. You’re more likely to keep doing something if you enjoy it.
- Turn Wait Time into Flex Time
If you’re waiting in traffic or long lines, take the opportunity for a few targeted muscle exercises. If you’re stuck in the car and not moving, contract your core muscles and try to hold for 30 seconds at a time. If you’re standing in line, do some calf raises or flex your gluteal muscles. Try and hold for the same amount of time.
- Sit on a Stability Ball
Replace your office chair with a stability ball. Sitting on one will strengthen your abdominal muscle. These are the muscles your body uses to compensate for changes in balance. Basically, you will get a low-intensity abdominal workout every time you sit down—those hours add up.
- Appreciate your Body
Take a minute to thank your body for all that it does for you every day. Exercise is a blessing not a chore and you should think of it as a gift. Recognize all the things your body can do. Show it additional respect by eating well and getting enough rest.
Written by Blaire
Customer Service Manager