Most of the things we buy are made to make our lives easier, more comfortable even. We have remotes because getting up to change the channel on the tv is ludicrous, and we'll wait for elevators even if we're only going up one floor. Comfort is a way of life, but it is also diminishing the quality of our lives.
Sitting disease is making huge headlines, and even the healthiest people should worry because working out after a long day of sitting does not combat the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. So how can we implement more activity into our daily lives, without (in addition to *cough, cough* ) the gym?
When making the changes towards a healthy lifestyle, I cannot stress enough the importance of practicality. Many times we want to do it all, we want to do the juice cleanse, we want to cut out all carbs, and sugars, and we want to be in the gym every day. The reality is if this is not your norm you’ll burn out faster than you could even plan a routine. Using these extreme methods can cause serious emotional stress causing self-loathing emotions that could lead to bingeing in worst cases scenarios.
Instead, aim for incremental change. Challenge yourself to evaluate your day to day routines to find areas that can improve mobility. Our lives are mostly sedentary but it doesn’t have to stay that way, even small changes can yield big results. Take a look at the list below for easy tips to incorporate movement into your life and say bye bye to that chair!
Begin With These Simple Tips to Add Movement to Your Life:
- Take phone calls standing up - It’s so simple but we underestimate this. How many times do you unconsciously stop everything while on the phone? Why not take the phone call while standing and get that blood pumping? After a week of doing this try alternating leg lifts at a leisurely rate, even at work this is a great tip. Disclaimer: People will stare but who cares you’re working towards bettering yourself and everyone should follow suit. Own it!
- Walking meetings - How many times do you have to sit through painful meetings that go on and on? Take initiative, suggest a walking meeting as a way to get some fresh air, and get out of the stuffy work environment. Also, lean into the healthy initiative, employers are often looking for ways to incorporate healthy habits into the workplace. Besides, being in nature, even if its the trees in the parking lot can help to inspire new ideas. It’s a win for everyone!
- Walks after lunch - Taking a walk after lunch aids in digestion, and it will give you the extra energy boost you’ll need for the afternoon. It can be as simple as a seven-minute walk around the parking lot or even a walk in the building.
- Take the stairs - We know this one all too well! Take the stairs, set rules based on your mobility level, going up two flight of stairs is better than none and always use the stairwells when traveling downward.
- Park further - Another one we’ve all heard, get those extra steps by parking further away from the door. We truly take these extra steps for granted, and incorporating this won’t take more than five minutes from our lives.
- Set a time for every half hour and alternate between squats, 10-second planks, and leg raises while watching tv - this is also an important rule for when on the computer. It’s important to move every 30 minutes. Don’t be intimidated by the exercises do what you can and build as you go. If planks and squats are too intimidating, begin with leg raises or stand on your tiptoes raising your heels for a few seconds and release with your heel flat on the ground. Repeat that multiple times for two minutes.
- Morning stretches - Stretching in the morning, wakes up your body and gets the heart racing. It’s a wonderful way to check- in with yourself and to express gratitude to your body for working as hard as it does. As you stretch, your arms, legs, hands, shoulders, and feet remember to thank your body. It can sound silly, so feel free to do it silently but feel the gratitude as you stretch. Once you become comfortable with that routine, you can also stretch before bed.
- Drink more water - We know the benefits of water, but the obvious is that you’ll need to use the bathroom a lot more when increasing your water intake. This means more steps! Choose the farthest bathroom from you and as an added bonus do 10 - 15 squats every time you use the bathroom.
You see that wasn’t so bad! You can add movement into your sedentary life in a few easy steps. They’ll add value to your life and keep you out of that chair and stepping into your true self. Be gentle and start small, just remember to increase the flight of stairs, the number of squats, and more as you progress. Everyone starts somewhere it’s up to you how far you’ll go! Share this with a friend and start a buddy system for an added layer of motivation.