Simple ways to stay active all day so you can reap the health benefits that come with regular exercise. If you need some ideas to help you live a healthy life, then these tips are exactly what you need!
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We all know that exercise is good for us, and not just because it helps us maintain a healthy weight. Exercise also helps us maintain flexibility, range of motion, bone mass, and muscle tone. It improves our balance and stability, boosts our mood and energy levels, and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise even helps us sleep better at night!
Even though these are all compelling reasons to exercise, the sad reality is that only 21% of American adults meet the recommended amount of physical activity each week. With so many people living sedentary lifestyles, it’s no wonder over 70% of American adults are overweight or obese!
If you find yourself in that 70% category, or if you’d like to avoid becoming another overweight statistic, then I have some good news for you today. You can ditch that sedentary lifestyle and become more active just by implementing a few simple changes.
Let me show you how!
But first, how much exercise do you really need?
Before we talk about some ways to stay active, you need to know what you’re working toward.
The ODPHP recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) each week AND strength training activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least 2 days per week.
75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (such as jogging or running) each week AND strength training activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least 2 days per week.
It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. 150 minutes per week translates to 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week. Not so bad, huh?
The best part is that you don’t even have to exercise for 30 minutes straight! You can break it into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day if you need to.
The point is to get moving however and whenever you can so you can reap all of those awesome health benefits I mentioned in the opening paragraph.
So now that you know how much physical activity you’re aiming for, let’s talk about some ways to stay active so you can make it happen!
9 simple ways to stay active throughout the day
Squeeze in a 15-30 minute workout first thing in the morning
You can find all sorts of exercise videos on YouTube, so find one that you like and do it first thing in the morning before you go to work. Doing this prevents other activities from getting in the way of your workout.
You can also try high intensity interval training if you want a routine that packs a full workout (cardio and strength training) into a short time frame. My personal favorite is Cassey Ho’s PIIT28 workout program. It’s awesome! Cassey combines Pilates with high intensity interval training, which results in her own unique fitness blend: Pilates Intense Interval Training, or PIIT for short.
I highly recommend you try PIIT28 if you want a program that’s intense, fun, and doesn’t take long to complete each day.
Take the stairs
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s still super important! Climbing stairs is a great way to get your heart rate up while working the muscles in your lower body.
Park farther away
Instead of circling the parking lot trying to find the closest parking space, try parking farther away. You’ll find a parking space more quickly, and you’ll get in some extra steps!
Of course, you probably won’t be huffing and puffing just walking across a parking lot, but a few extra steps here and there really add up!
Walk while you talk
Instead of sitting down while you talk on the phone, try walking around or pacing. This is another way to get those steps in!
I’ve actually been doing this one since I was a kid. The carpet in my bedroom even had a little trench where I paced back and forth while talking to my friends on the phone! 🙂
Crank up the tunes and have a dance party in your living room. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you work up a sweat and get out of breath!
You can also play music while you cook or clean to encourage you to move more. I almost always have something playing in the background on Pandora, so you can often find me dancing around the kitchen while I’m cooking.
Some of my favorite upbeat Pandora stations include Earth, Wind, & Fire; Electric Light Orchestra; Foreigner; and Swing. (I know. I’m stuck in the 20th century). Give one of those a try if you need something fun to dance to!
Walk during your lunch break
When it’s nice outside, try walking laps around the parking lot, or drive to a nearby park where you can walk. Just remember to bring some comfy shoes!
If the weather isn’t so nice, find a nearby mall or big box retailer where you can walk laps indoors.
Take a walk with your family after supper
Walking with your family gets everyone moving and gives you a chance to have a meaningful conversation sans technology. Plus, exercising with other people can make the activity more enjoyable!
Exercise while you watch TV
Instead of sitting while you binge on Netflix, get moving! You can walk around your living room, do jumping jacks, jump rope (real or imaginary rope), or do some muscle strengthening activities.
If you need some strength training exercises that don’t require any equipment, give these a try:
- Mountain climbers
- Plank jacks
- Wall sit
- Single leg bridges
- Calf raises
- Tricep dips (you can do these with a stable bench or chair, but I actually prefer using yoga blocks)
- Eagle crunches
End your evening with a relaxing yoga sequence
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just something to help you strengthen the muscles you don’t normally work while improving your flexibility and balance.
If you’re new to yoga or would like some fresh sequences, you should definitely check out Yoga with Adriene! She’s down to earth, easy to follow, and pleasant to listen to.
Wrapping It Up
So now you know nine simple ways to stay active throughout the day! Remember, the goal is to get moving however and whenever you can so you can reap all the awesome benefits that come with regular exercise.
You can stay active by taking the stairs, parking farther away, walking while you talk on the phone, dancing, walking during your lunch break, exercising first thing in the morning, taking a walk with your family after supper, exercising while you watch TV, or ending your evening with a relaxing yoga sequence.
But you don’t have to stop there! Keep finding new ways to stay active so you don’t get bored.
And if you’d like to learn about the two other things you need to do to live a healthy lifestyle, then head on over to this post:
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- 7 Free or Cheap Ways to Exercise on a Budget
- Why We Transitioned to a Plant-based Lifestyle
- 15 Plant-based Recipes You Need to Try
- How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
- 29 Ways to De-stress Right Now
- 12 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
What about you? What are your favorite ways to stay active?
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