Finding Ways to Stay Active During Your Day:

By Katie Petroka BS – Nutrition Student

We’ve all been there, extremely busy with barely any time to exercise.  You may be surprised to learn that much of that  “busy” time is spent sitting. According to the Mayo Clinic, too much sitting can increase your risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Well, fear not, even with a crazy schedule there are small tactics you can implement throughout your day to stay active. Here are a few activity-enhancing practices to keep in mind:

  • Park your car at the end of the parking lot so you have to walk further to your destination. If you work in an office setting, this gives your body a chance for extra cardio before and after sitting at a desk all day. This tactic can also be used when running errands, like at the grocery store.
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator. Taking the stairs allows you to burn calories and work muscles in the legs and glutes with each step. And you may actually get to where you are trying to go faster. Bonus!
  • If you know you will be stuck at the office all day, pack a gym bag to keep in your car to give you some extra motivation to hit the gym after work.  This can be applied to any type of busy day. You may find a free hour to put that gym bag to good use. You’ll be able to throw on those sneakers and go for a walk or jog!
  • When on the phone whether at work or at home, take this opportunity to stretch. Do some knee folds and arm circles to increase blood circulation and blood flow to muscles.
  • On your lunch break go for a walk around the neighborhood or find a park/area around your work. Walking is an extremely easy and convenient activity to do. Even just 20-30 minutes of walking will increase your heart rate. A brisk walk for a 150-pound person can burn more than 200 calories in 30 minutes. This walk is also a refreshing break for your mind in between the workday. You will be much more focused and sharp afterwards!
  • Being at an office job is one of the most dangerous places for our bodies because we are sedentary for hours. If your office allows it, ask if stand up desks would be an option or if you can sit on a medicine ball instead of a chair. If your office is not that kind of environment, make sure to take a stroll around the office on your way to the bathroom or each time you grab some coffee. If you’re eating lunch at your office, stand up and chat with your coworkers while eating. Believe it or not, standing burns calories and allows for blood flow throughout your body.
  • Having a dog is a great way to stay active. They give you a reason to get outside and move! So if you have one of those furry friends take them for a long walk, throw a ball around, or take them to a dog park where you can run around after them. This is great cardio and fun!
  • Compared to playing with your dog, you may not use the word cleaning in the same sentence as “fun”. But, cleaning your home is a great way to use a variety of muscle groups. Carrying the laundry basket up the stairs is a great arm workout. When cleaning windows you can squat down and back up. Stretch extra high on your toes when cleaning cobwebs, to have a great calve and side stretch. Doing lunges while vacuuming will tone your legs and glutes. Putting on music while you clean will pump you up, causing you to move faster and have more intensity. This will allow you to burn more calories and possibly make the cleaning go by faster.
  • Surprisingly, cooking can be considered active. Rather than going out to eat, where btw, not only are you sitting but also the food is not as fresh – cooking allows for all types of movements. While cooking we are standing, lifting, turning, and chopping, Research says a 150-pound person burns 78 calories in 30 minutes of cooking. So drop the menu and grab the pots and pans!

These are a few examples of easy ways to increase your activity level throughout your day. These small changes will go a long way. It may not seem like much but your body is benefiting from these movements. What are some ways that you can incorporate physical activity into your routine?

 

 

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Hi! I'm Heather: a body positivity, Health at Every Size dietitian. When I'm not blogging about wellness, I'm spending time with my fabulous family. Sometimes, they wear me out, so then it's time to bake, read, knit, tie myself into a yoga pose, or continue to work my first novel... stay tuned.