Health Month: Double Your Activity Level with 7 Simple Changes

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, providing education and support prior to and following weight loss surgery.

Are you looking for ways to get more active throughout your busy day without feeling overwhelmed? If so, then this blog post is for you! For anyone who has undergone weight loss surgery, including some type of exercise in your daily routine is essential. Whether it’s a longer, more rigorous workout or a short session, it all adds up! With just a few small changes to your regular habits — such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking around while talking on the phone — you can easily double or even triple your activity level in no time! Read on to learn seven minor adjustments that will allow you to be much more physically active throughout the day to reach your WLS goals faster!

1) Get a standing desk. If you can't afford a standing desk (or you can’t get your employer to pay for one), you can easily make your own by stacking a few boxes or books on top of your regular desk. Standing while working will help reduce your sedentary time during the day and can help alleviate neck and back pain from sitting.

2) Take a walk during your lunch break. Instead of sitting in the cafeteria or at your desk, walk around the block during your lunch break. Better yet, entice a few coworkers to join in! Walking will help increase your daily steps and break up the work day with some fresh air. Studies show taking breaks away from the workplace helps to increase productivity and also makes you more alert and energetic. This could be just the thing you need to avoid that early afternoon slump!

3) Park further away from the office. Parking further away from the office will force you to walk a greater distance, which can help to increase your daily step count. If shoes are an issue for walking, slip on those tennis shoes and change when you get into the office! If you live close, try walking to work or riding a bike if you can do it safely.

4) Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Using the stairs is a great way to take extra daily steps. You’d be surprised how much this helps your cardiovascular fitness and lower body strength!

5) Stand up or walk while talking on the phone. If you spend a lot of time on the phone for work, try to stand up or walk around while talking. If you work from home, this might be super easy for you. Walking will help you to move around more and burn some extra calories. If you’re like me, I do my chores while talking on the phone at home. Before I know it, the chores are completed without even realizing it!

6) Set a timer to remind you to move every hour. I love this one! We all know how easy it is to sit and power through much-needed breaks. We tend to feel that makes us more productive and we’ll get more done, but this only negatively affects our stress level and mental and physical health. After WLS, this can also be detrimental to your nutrition goals if you don’t take frequent breaks to eat, hydrate, and move around. Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to get up. You’ll have to choose what works for you for time — every 30 minutes, every hour, whatever is possible.

7) Use a pedometer. A pedometer is a device that counts the number of steps you take in a day. Wearing a pedometer can increase your awareness of how much you are moving and may motivate you to move more. Many different types of pedometers are available, but most smartphones have a feature that can count steps.

With just a few small tweaks and minor adjustments to your regular habits, you can easily sneak more activity into your daily routine without committing vast amounts of time and energy. Exercise doesn't have to take up a large chunk of your day! With these helpful tips in mind, you can make smaller changes that, when combined, add up to a meaningful increase in physical activity levels that will benefit your health and well-being. What small changes can you begin to make?

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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