People tend to get stuck in the rut of doing the same things each day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find simple ways to move your body and change up your exercise routine!
From parking farther away from the office to take the stairs when you can, there are plenty of options to help you get moving throughout your day without feeling like you’re working out at all.
Why It’s Important to Move Your Body
There are so many reasons why it’s important to keep your body moving, even if it’s just a little bit each day.
Exercise has been shown to improve mental health, increase lifespan, and protect against conditions like heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Plus, it can boost your mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.
So how can you find ways to move your body each day? Here are just a few simple options:
10 Simple Ways to Move Your Body Each Day
1. Always have your activewear handy
Stash workout clothes and shoes in a gym bag or laundry basket near where you do most of your workouts—usually, that’s close to home or work.
Packing up for a workout takes about five minutes—longer if you have a lot of stuff. And since you always have it with you, there’s no excuse not to get active.
Just putting workout clothes out makes people more likely to work out, says psychologist Andy Molinsky, Ph.D., an associate professor at Brandeis University.
So set aside space in your closet for activewear, even if it means sacrificing some space for sweaters or that new dress from last season’s collection.
2. Take the stairs
Walking up a flight of stairs is more effective than you might think.
Studies show that climbing just 10 flights of stairs a day can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall fitness.
Plus, it’s better for the environment than taking an elevator or escalator. So make a point to take the stairs whenever you can—at work, at the mall, or even in your own home.
3. Go for a walk during your lunch break at work
If you have a desk job, it can be hard to find time to move during the day without taking extra steps or fitting in a quick workout at home.
But if you take your lunch break outside, you can get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air at the same time.
If possible, walk to a nearby park or restaurant for lunch instead of eating at your desk. And try to avoid sitting down during your break—stand up and move around as much as you can.
You’ll be surprised how much of a difference a little walking can make!
4. Do a quick workout at home
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or go for a run, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home with minimal equipment.
There are tons of great workout videos and apps available online, and many of them are free.
So take advantage of them and squeeze in a quick workout when you can. Even just 20 minutes of exercise can make a difference!
5. Park farther away from your destination
When you’re running errands or going to work, park your car a little farther away than usual so you have to walk a bit more.
It may not seem like much, but those extra steps can add up over time. And if you make it a habit, it can really make a difference in your overall fitness level.
6. Stand instead of sitting
Studies have found that sitting for long periods of time can increase a person’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other conditions.
But many people lack the motivation to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, so they end up spending hours slumped in front of computers.
If you find yourself caught in such a situation, it may be helpful to think about whether you could fit standing desks or treadmill desks into your workplace.
Sometimes, small changes are all that’s needed to help motivate us toward better health habits.
7. Walk around while talking on the phone
The next time you’re on a call, walk around instead of sitting at your desk. Research suggests that our bodies are designed for walking and moving—not sitting—and in fact, our hunter-gatherer ancestors walked as much as four miles every day.
Sitting is known to increase fatigue, decrease endurance and limit blood flow. Taking a break from sedentary behavior could help you avoid developing chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
8. When you go out, walk instead of drive
It doesn’t matter if you live across town, or across an ocean—walking every now and then can help you fight weight gain.
According to research by Georgia State University, people who take at least 10,000 steps a day have greater energy and significantly lower rates of obesity than their couch potato peers.
If losing weight is your goal, aim for 8,000 daily steps—the average person only takes 5,000.
9. Get off at the next stop rather than staying on the bus/train till the end of the line
If you’re on a bus or train, getting off one stop early is an easy way to boost activity levels. If you do it every day, you’ll add more than 650 steps—the equivalent of three brisk blocks—to your daily walk. Over time, that adds up.
Some cities have bike-share programs that allow for an even easier way to extend a commute.
For example, Boston has taken its popular Hubway bikes and added docking stations at some of the commuter rail stations.
That means riders can take a train part of the way and bike the rest, getting in a bit of exercise while enjoying fresh air and avoiding rush-hour traffic.
10. Workout in intervals
If you’re trying to lose weight but don’t have much time for exercise, it can help to break things up into shorter sessions.
Consider high-intensity interval training: Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes, and begin a series of hard moves (burpees, sprints) that are designed not only to push you physically but also remind you mentally why it’s worth pushing yourself.
This workout won’t take long—10 minutes is plenty of time—but will leave you exhausted and energized at the same time.
After every interval, rest for a few minutes before moving on to the next one; rest as long as necessary before starting another round. In no time, you’ll find yourself pushing harder than ever while working out less.
There are many simple ways to move your body each day, and even small changes can make a difference in your overall fitness level.
Taking a few extra steps, standing instead of sitting, and walking around while talking on the phone are all easy ways to add more physical activity to your day.
If you live in a city, taking advantage of bike-share programs can also be a great way to get some exercise. And if you’re short on time, interval training is an effective way to make the most of your workout.
By incorporating some of these simple tips into your daily routine, you can improve your health and fitness in no time. Thanks for reading!