11 Easy Ways to Add More Movement Into Your Day
It’s no secret that being busy is a part of life. Despite our best intentions to begin a new habit or try a new hobby “when things slow down,” the slow down never seems to arrive.
One unfortunate side effect to our busy lifestyles is prolonged sitting, which has famously been compared to smoking due to the negative health impacts associated with moving less.
Even if you're exercising regularly, studies have shown that people who sit for most of their work day are at a much higher risk for heart disease, obesity, and other health problems compared to people who stand up or move around more often.
While committing to a regular exercise routine is foundational for long-term health, it may not be enough to counteract the harms of prolonged sitting. Our bodies are made to move. Not just during regular scheduled workouts. All day long.
Research points to the many benefits of daily movement — including reduced stress, more energy, a stronger immune system, and the ability to move freely as you age. That list doesn't even take into account the mental health benefits (i.e. increased confidence, creativity, and overall well-being) that can result from breaking up those long, sedentary hours with a bit of exercise — even if it's only for five minutes at a time!
Incorporating movement throughout is one of the best things we can do for our health. The best part? It doesn’t have to be time consuming or require special workout clothing.
Here are 11 easy ways to add more movement into your day.
11 Ways To Add Daily Movement
Simply noticing how much you are sitting can flip the switch. Below are 11 ways to incorporate daily movement. Choose the ones that fit your current lifestyle and build upon as you go.
Make Multiple Trips
Are you the type of person that morphs into Superman when it’s time to carry the groceries inside — trying to wrangle all the bags in one trip? You’re not alone. But making two or three trips from the car to the house with your groceries makes a difference in how much exercise you get each week.
Try an Alternative Work Space
If you’re working from home, choose an alternative work space that increases joint mobility, such as sitting on the floor or on a low stool. You’ll be fitting in a stretch session while typing away. Or take some screen-free time and have lunch sitting on the floor or on a blanket in a park.
Create a 5-Minute Morning Movement Habit
Make time for a morning mobility class to loosen tight muscles and stiff joints. Even 5 minutes of movement can move the needle. Ten to 15 minutes of morning mobility is a great goal to aim for in the beginning. Get started on your morning mobility routine for free with the Sandvi Studio on-demand membership.
Walk to your Mailbox Instead of Driving Up when you get Home
Instead of pulling your car up as close as possible to your mailbox when you get home, park it and walk. It might not seem like much, but it adds up over time. You can also eventually try doing an errand on foot instead of driving there — or if you need to drive somewhere that's less than a mile away, walk instead.
Set An Alarm
Pro tip: Do you find yourself sitting too long at your desk without taking a break? Set an alarm. Growing research suggests this routine: sit 20 minutes out of every half hour at work, standing for eight minutes and moving around for at least two minutes.
Bonus: Drink water when you get up. Most of us are chronically dehydrated. This is a win-win health habit!
Volunteer for Standing Household Chores
Are you the type of person who likes to multitask? The next time household chores come calling, opt for the ones where sitting is optional, for example, folding laundry, setting the dinner table, vacuuming, and doing dishes. While you're scrubbing away, you’ll also be doing your body good. How’s that for multitasking?
Bonus: Add simple movements while you're standing, such as calf raises, for more of a health boost.
Park Farther Away
It can be so tempting to circle around the lot until you get right up to where a store's automatic doors slide open but resist. Park in the back of the parking lot, to take those extra steps.
Take the Stairs
If you can, take the stairs. Not only can walking up stairs burn more calories than standing still on an escalator, but it also is a good way to get in strength training. If you're up for it, take the stairs for more than one flight at a time. You'll be surprised how quickly your heart rate will increase!
If you ride an elevator regularly, get off a few floors before your destination and walk the rest of the way. Small changes add up!
Move During Commercial Breaks
During the next commercial break, challenge yourself to move around. You can do jumping jacks, squats or just stretch. Whatever gets your blood flowing is fair game–and a great way to keep your body moving during an activity that often involves little more than sitting.
Move While you Microwave
Waiting for your lunch to heat up is the perfect prompt for a movement. You'll burn some calories and feel invigorated from all the added movement!
Bust a Move!
If you love music, incorporate it into your daily movement routine as much as possible. Put on an upbeat playlist while you clean the house, do yard work, or dance around the living room.
Being active doesn't have to feel like a chore. In fact, some of the best ways to be more active are through small, everyday movements that can help you burn more calories and move more throughout the day.
The key? Being more mindful about the ways you move. Make it a habit, and your body and mind will thank you for it.