Updated: Feb 2
If you haven’t heard it from your doctor, then you have definitely heard it somewhere at some place in time– in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. However, many people don’t know that even with 30 minutes of structured exercise a day, it still may not be enough. Experts say that getting up and moving (even for small periods of time) throughout the day will aid in your overall health and contribute to an increased life span and check this out even among those that exercise for more than 7 hours a week, people who spent the most time sitting had 50% greater risk of death from any cause! According to a Harvard Study, long periods of sitting increase insulin levels, resulting in a decreased insulin sensitivity, which can cause inflammation and fatty plaque build up in the arteries. This, along with poor nutritional choices, also widely contributes to the diabetic population in America. Approximately 34 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t even know they have it. So, this can be an important thing to note in today’s day and age, as working from home becomes more prominent in our everyday lives. So, let’s look at 6 different ways we can get up and get our body moving throughout the day outside of our normal workout routine.
1. Make chores less physically convenient
Most of us already see chores as a drag, so it can be tempting to make these activities easier by sitting down or doing them in efficient ways to decrease the time we spend doing them. Nevertheless, this is only contributes to the large amounts of sitting we already do on a daily basis. So, instead of sitting and folding laundry– stand while you do it. Instead of trying to carry all of the groceries in on one trip, take your time, be less efficient, I know, I know this crushes the efficiency expert in me. All this will do is make you spend more time standing and moving, which is essentially the goal. Our natural instincts want us to take the lazy way out of most things, so in order to better ourselves physically, we need to push past that instinct every once and awhile. Small changes can go a long way.
2. Have a dance party
What better way to take a break than to get up and dance to your favorite songs? Even if you don’t call yourself a dancer, who cares? There’s no one around to judge your performance, and after all, it’s for you and you only. All you need is a quick 5-7 minutes of dancing every couple of hours or so to make a real difference in your physical movement for the day. Making the conscious decision to get up, put on some of your favorite music to dance to is not only physically beneficial, but can also be quite therapeutic. If the only thing holding you back is your pride, then try to swallow it. If not for your physical health, then do it for your mental health.
3. Get a desk that forces you to move while you work.
While the prominence of working from home arises, so do inventions that maximize this experience. Inventions like the standing desk were specifically made to help people who lack physical movement throughout their work day. These inventions are perhaps the most useful and effective way to keep yourself moving throughout your workday because you do not have to stop working to use them. Plus, there is a wide variety in the types of movements, such as a bicycle desk, a standing desk or a treadmill desk. So, if walking isn’t your thing perhaps biking is.
4. Set movement timers.
Often times we forget that we have been sitting for so long, and we don't realize that hours have passed since we stood up. So, by setting 20, 30, or even hour long timers to remind you to get up and do a minute or so of movement can make a huge difference. Here are 10 easy exercises you can do for a minute to up your daily movement.
5. Get up and clean or pace while you take a call.
It can be hard to increase your movement while you work, especially because we often have to be at our computers to type and get work done. However, when you take calls, you can be mobile. Therefore, when you take calls, this can be the perfect time to walk back and forth, clean up or do simple things that involves movement.
6. Drink more water.
Think about it the more water you drink the more you will have to get up to go to the bathroom. I always tell my clients, I’m not having you drink water to hydrate you I’m having you drink water so you’ll get up and get moving! If you aren’t a water drinker, start small, add in an extra glass of water a day until you get up to 64 ounces of water, which is generally safe for most people. You can also drink half your body weight in ounces. As always consult with your physician because it is possible to drink too much water.
It is in our nature to be lazy, but the smallest of movements and activities can make a huge difference in our physical health that will help us become the best versions of ourselves. So, get out there and get moving!