Staying on your feet and being active goes a long way toward improving your health and lowering your risk of chronic diseases. When you have a busy schedule, though, finding time to move around can be a challenge. The good news is that you can find plenty of simple ways to spend less time sitting at your desk and more time being up and about. Keep the following tips in mind for adding more movement to your daily routine.
Take Frequent Breaks
You might not be able to get away from your desk for long periods of time, but at least aim to stand up and move around several times throughout the day. Even if you're only able to do this for a couple of minutes at a time, standing and walking around keeps you from being seated at your desk for too long.
Switch to a Standing Desk (and Use a Balance Board)
If you have a job that keeps you at your desk all day, you don't necessarily have to sit while you work. Consider switching to a standing desk, so you can be on your feet for several hours a day instead of sitting. To add movement to this option, get yourself a balance board. These boards help you get more physical activity throughout the day, even if you're stuck standing at your desk most of the time.
Take the Stairs
If you work above the ground floor in your building, skip the elevator. Get into the habit of giving yourself more time to get where you need to go, and use the stairs to get there instead of standing on the elevator. Walking up and down a few or more flights of stairs on a regular basis is an effective way to get your heart pumping and keep your feet moving.
Walk While Doing Daily Tasks
You might not realize just how often you sit while taking care of everyday tasks, such as talking on the phone. Whether you're at home, at work, or out in public, start making sure that you're on your feet and moving around while engaging in these more mundane tasks. Walking around while doing these is an easy way to avoid sitting too much during the day.
If you can't walk around much during the day, for example if you work at a desk job or behind a counter, you can still engage in movement. Simple stretching exercises can help you get some physical activity while you're standing around. Stretch your calves and rotate your feet at the ankles to keep your muscles flexible. While you should still make it a point to stand more often, you can do these kinds of stretches while you're sitting at your desk. Keep in mind that you can also stand and do stretches when you're watching TV at home.
Track Your Physical Activity
Holding yourself accountable for moving more often can motivate you to stay on your feet. Consider using an app that tracks your fitness on a daily basis, such as how many steps you take or how many miles you've walked, or how many calories you've burned. Set daily goals for yourself, and your app can let you know when you've reached them.
Putting these tips to use can help you form more healthy habits around getting more physical activity overall. In fact, experts recommend that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. All those extra steps you take from using stairs, getting up often, and moving in general can add up to this half-hour of daily activity easily.
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