Easy Ways to Increase Your Physical Activity
Physical Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy
Don’t think you have enough time in the day for exercise? Think again with these easy tips for increasing physical activity a little bit at a time.
Between work and family life, many people feel that they don’t have enough time to exercise. While it’s true that a trip to the gym can quickly eat up time, that’s not the only way to get exercise that helps you stay healthy and active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can benefit even from a modest amount of physical activity, such as a brisk 30 minute walk. Yet the CDC reports 60 percent of adults don’t even get that recommended amount of moderate activity, with 25 percent not engaging in any activity at all.
In short, you don’t need to buy an expensive gym membership to increase your physical activity level (although you can if you choose!). As you go about your day, you can find plenty of easy ways to bump up your heart rate and improve your physical and mental well-being. Read on for some tips on how to do it.
Seven easy ways to increase your physical activity
The important thing to remember about increasing your physical activity level is to simply keep moving no matter what form that movement takes! The more you move, the better you’ll feel. And you’ll be surprised to learn just how easy it is to slip exercise into your day. Here are seven ways to do just that:
Step it up. Walking is one of the best exercises there is. And you can do more of it by parking further from your office or grocery store and taking those extra steps every chance you get. As the Mayo Clinic notes, walking can prevent cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Get a pedometer (or use the one on your phone) and aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.
Work out when doing housework. Don’t think of household chores as, well, chores. Instead, think of cleaning and gardening as opportunities to stretch and move. Raking leaves and shoveling snow also strengthen the muscles and increase heart rate. Just be sure to rake and shovel with the proper stance so you don’t overtax yourself.
Stand, don't sit. Sitting too much can have a negative effect on your health. But it’s easy to counteract those effects by standing up. If you work at a desk job, get up every 30 minutes or so. Better yet, buy a standing desk. While you watch TV, stand up during the commercial breaks, or do exercises, such as push ups, stretches, or pedal on a stationary bike if you have one.
Take an exercise break. Rather than sitting at your desk or in the break room scrolling on your phone, exercise during your free time. That doesn't have to mean an hour-long session in the gym. A stroll around the block will up your activity level and add to the steps you need to take each day.
Move to the beat. Listening to music while either walking, biking, or exercising can be motivating. It can also make the workout time more fun. Dancing is great exercise, too. You don’t have to be a professional dancer to get the cardiovascular benefits of dancing. Simply having fun in your living room dancing around can have great health benefits!
There’s an app for that. Plenty of free apps are available to monitor your activity level or guide you through an exercise routine. Download one on your smartphone and start exercising.
Find what works for you. Every person has different preferences about exercise. Whether it’s an aerobic boost like jogging, a muscle-strengthening workout like lifting weights, or flexibility exercises like yoga, find the activity you like. If you enjoy the workout, you’re more likely to stick with it.
Let us help you
Finding it hard to find an exercise routine? A physical therapist at All Sports Physical Therapy can develop an exercise plan tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Getting over an injury? A physical therapist can help you stay active while you heal from the injury and identify the best ways to avoid getting a repeat injury in the future. Contact us today for a consultation.