Move More (like your life depends on it)

Apart from strength training, moving more can help you live a longer, healthier life. Participating in regular physical activity can reduce chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.

As April is ‘Move More’ month, here are 8 ways to move more during everyday life, without having to block more time out of your busy schedule!

1- Have a private dance party

Dancing is a fabulous way to burn calories and work on your balance and coordination. Dancing can make mundane tasks like vacuuming, doing dishes, and cooking dinner so much more fun; plus, it’s a great calorie-burner and engages your entire body!

2- Meetings on the go!

If you work from home or have transitioned to virtual conference calls, schedule a walk during one call per day.  If you don’t need to be at your computer looking at spreadsheets, plug in your headphones, slip your phone in your pocket, and solve the world’s problems on a walk. It’s a great way to mix up your daily routine.

And if you work in an office, take your one-on-one meetings on-the- go. Various studies have shown that walking has a beneficial effect on creative thinking by pumping more blood and oxygen around your body, including your brain. Plus, your colleague will likely welcome the opportunity to stretch their legs too.

3- Sit on an exercise ball

Swap out your office chair for a stability ball. This can help with back pain and help improve posture, and while sitting on the ball, you can do some gentle mobility stretches for your neck, pelvis, and spine.

Try a hula-hoop motion and tucking and untuck your pelvis to help fire up your core stabilizers. If you want to add in some abdominal work, you can also try seated marches or other exercises on the ball — all while sitting at your desk!

4- Set a reminder to take breaks

Sometimes work can really suck you in, and before you know it, hours have passed with you just sitting at your desk. Set an alarm on your phone to take a break every 30 minutes—get up and walk to the bathroom, go grab water from the kitchen, or simply stand by your desk and stretch for three to four minutes.

5- Help a pet (or adopt a friend)

Local shelters are always looking for volunteers to help. Why not volunteer to take a few dogs for a walk, adopt one, or consider dog-walking for extra cash on the side.  You get to increase your time outside, help a dog and your community, and spend some quality time being active and moving your body.

6- Park far away

If you’re in a safe and well-lit area, consider parking further from the entrance of wherever you’re going. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way.  Adding in a few minutes of walking time adds up over time.

7- Get up during commercial breaks

Instead of sitting through commercials, jump up and do that housework you’ve been putting off, like starting the laundry, washing dishes, or sweeping the floor. You’ll feel so much more satisfied and productive by the time your show is over!

8- Join a fitness class

If you normally spend lunch eating at your desk, use that free time to get moving instead! Squeezing in a short, high-intensity workout during lunch can help you beat that 3 p.m. slump and leave you feeling energized for the rest of the day. Check out one of WFCC’s group classes. We have 15-minute sessions if you’re looking for the perfect quickie!

A few tips: Bring deodorant, face wipes, and a change of socks and underwear, try to stay on your feet (you spend enough time sitting), and go with a group for extra motivation.

It can seem overwhelming when you first start to exercise but trying a few of these tips will definitely help.  Start by adding one or two tips into your routine, then once you’ve mastered those, incorporate a few more.  Before you know it, you’ll be moving so much more than you had before or even thought you could!