Let’s face facts; most people are pretty busy. Squeezing a regular exercise routine into an already jam-packed schedule isn’t always an option, so finding ways to boost your physical activity in ways that won’t disrupt your day is often ideal.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to get more active without having to alter your day-to-day significantly. If you want to boost your physical activity, here’s what you need to know.
What to Do Before You Increase Your Activity Levels
Before you change your routine to include more physical activity, it’s wise to speak with your doctor. This gives you a chance to discuss your plan with a healthcare professional who can make sure that what you are about to start is safe for you.
Ways to Boost Your Physical Activity at Home
While you can always through on an exercise DVD or YouTube video, that might not work for anyone who can’t dedicate 30 minutes straight to working out. Thankfully, adding some physical activity to your time at home can be a breeze, even if you are typically pressed for time.
If you want to boost your physical activity at home, here are some simple options to get you started.
- Use an exercise bike or treadmill when watching television
- Do crunches or pushups during tv commercial breaks
- Take a 10-minute walk before breakfast or in the evening
- Head outside with your children and play
- Take your kids out on a bike ride
- Walk your dog
- Do squats while microwaving a meal or beverage or when waiting for water to boil on the stove
- Do some calf raises while washing your face at the sink or brushing your teeth
- Plant and maintain a garden
- Turn on some music and dance while cleaning
- Handwash your car
- Rake leaves or shovel snow instead of using a leaf or snowblower
- Use a push mower when cutting the grass
- Help your children practice their sports skills at home
- Walk around while talking on the phone
- Clean out your garage, attic, or other storage spaces
Ways to Boost Your Physical Activity at Work
Usually, work isn’t the ideal place for a big workout. But, unless you are in a particularly active job, it commonly means being mostly sedentary for eight to 10 hours, and that isn’t great either.
While it may come as a surprise, there are a number of ways to add some additional physical activity to your workday that don’t take a lot of time and won’t result in a ton of weird looks from your coworkers. Here are some options that definitely worth exploring.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs instead
- Park farther away from your workplace
- Walk during your lunch break
- Bike or walk to work
- Hop off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way
- Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball
- Try “walking meetings” instead of sitting in a conference room
- Bring hand weights to work and do simple bicep curls or tricep exercises whenever you get on the phone
- When you head to the restroom, choose one that is farther away from your workstation
- Deliver a message to a coworker in-person instead of by email, phone, or instant/text message
- Use a standing desk
Ways to Boost Your Physical Activity While on the Go
Many people spend quite a few hours each week outside of the workplace and home. Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store, picking up your children from school, or managing various errands, it may not have occurred to you that you can make this time more active.
Here is a quick look at some easy ways to boost your activity while you are on the go.
- Park further away from the store entrance
- Walk the sidelines when your children are playing sports
- If you stay overnight in a hotel, bring exercise bands with you or use the hotel’s gym or pool
- Do bicep curls while carrying shopping bags
- Add a physical activity to your vacation plans (skiing, hiking, kayaking, etc.)
- Do seated crunches when you stop at a red light while driving
- Skip the drive-thru and walk inside instead
- Head to a museum, gallery, zoo, or aquarium instead of a movie theater for an active entertainment experience
- If you take the bus, stand instead of sitting
Ultimately, all of the options above can help you squeeze more physical activity into your day no matter where it takes you. Just make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before you begin, consider starting slow if you haven’t exercised in some time, listen to your body, and be patient with yourself. It takes time for real change to be realized, but you are taking an important first step. Plus, if you keep your eyes open, you may spot other opportunities to add more physical activity to your day, ensuring you can maintain your schedule and support your health.