Activity is a Muscle.
We are all familiar with the classic advice on ways to be more active.
“Take the stairs instead of the elevator!”
“Park in the far corner of the parking lot to get a good walk in!”
These are very simple and effective ways to increase one’s activity level, but they can be boring. Don’t you want and need some fun and actionable ways to be more active that make you feel like you’ve found the secret code to being healthy?
We have one simple rule here at WellPledge: when it comes to getting active, only do what you enjoy! That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever challenge yourself; it means you should make sure whatever exercise you are doing excites you! That way it will be less likely you will become uninspired, lose your motivation, or become downright bored and give up.
We all understand the benefits of being more active, but you may be wondering, “What can I actually do to be more active?” Rest assured, WellPledge offers fresh ideas to add more activity into your daily routine- both at work and at home.
While most of us spend our work day sitting in front of a computer, it doesn’t mean we can’t ever get up and move. Instead of sitting while on the phone or during conference call, stand up and pace back and forth. Better yet, take your meetings on the go and have a walking meeting instead. Not only will you get in some exercise, but the fresh air and break from your desk can help you be more productive.
Set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off every 2 hours. Make sure it is set to occur everyday for… all of eternity (queue evil villain laugh). When your notification goes off, stand up and go on a brief 5 minute walk or stretch at your desk. Additionally, make the most of your lunch break and squeeze in a quick 15-30 minute walk. For extra accountability, recruit a co-worker to be your walking buddy.
Try this easy calf exercise that you can do right at your desk. With both feet fully on the floor, raise both your heels off the ground at the same time by rolling onto the balls of your feet. You should feel some tension in your calf muscles. Hold at the top for 3 to 5 seconds then lower back down onto your heels. Repeat 20-50 times or do it mindlessly while you work.
Get your co-workers involved in a pushup or squat challenge- no equipment is even needed. Your coworkers may look at you like you’re crazy but just tell them how you are increasing your activity level to get healthier. They may even join you.
Search “Beginner’s yoga for X” on YouTube. Whatever you want to achieve with your yoga practice, put that word in place of X; for example try, “Beginner’s yoga for relaxation” or “Beginner’s yoga for flexibility.” Choose one you think you might like and do a quick 15 or 20-minute lesson early in the morning or right before you go to bed. These are our favorites: Yoga Vidya, PsycheTruth, or Yoga With Adriene.
Go to your child’s sporting event or practice and walk a few laps while cheering your heart out.
Have a dance party with your family or friends, or turn up the volume when you are home alone and have a solo dance party.
Make a game out of cleaning. Turn on some music. Turn said music up loud, clean one part of your house for every song that plays until you are done!
Most nights do you find yourself streaming episode upon episode of your favorite Netflix series? Rather than watch from the couch, hop on a treadmill or a stationary bike. You’ll be surprised how fast time flies by.
Trade in a night where you and your family sit on your phones or watch TV for a family game night or a family walk or bike ride after dinner.
Go on a museum date instead of a dinner date. Go on a museum date instead of a dinner date. You will get more steps in and burn off some calories. Plus, you may even learn something knew. Other date ideas to keep you moving are bowling and mini golf.
Attend a painting or sculpting night nearby or just get out some paint and a piece of paper on your own. Make sure to stand while you craft your masterpiece by pinning your paper to a wall or using an easel. Embrace the powers of creativity and get lost in an art project, big or small.
Rearrange your living room or bedroom -or both!
Build a snowman. It’s like riding a bike -not so much in the sense of the pedaling or steering, but it’s something you never forget how to do!
Get extra steps in when grocery shopping by doing a few extra laps while scoping out what you need to purchase!
There is no denying that, when it comes to increasing your activity, getting started is the hardest part. So comb through the list above and try a few. Start today with the first one that catches your eye.
Only do what you like to do, but your future self will thank you for at least taking the first step on your journey to increasing your activity by implementing a few of these ways to be more active. Get out there and have fun!