Health Advocate Blog

Everyday ways to keep moving

Maximizing your daily activities can help you burn some extra calories and benefit your body. It can also help you reduce sedentary behavior and feel like you’re sneaking in some exercise on days when you may not be able to. Try some of these tips for turning your normal, everyday activities into exercise.

While at work…

  • Work out your core muscles by tensing them and pulling your belly button in toward your spine when sitting. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then release. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat for 5 to 10 reps.
  • Designate 10 minutes of your lunch break to walk.
  • Use restrooms or break rooms that are the farthest from your desk or work station.
  • Stand up and walk around your office, or march in place while on the phone.
  • Do a few reps with your unopened water bottle before you drink it.
  • Set a reminder each hour to stand in place, stretch or take a quick walk around the office.
  • Eat your lunch standing up.
  • Pick up the pace while walking to meetings.

Out and about…

  • Break the habit of searching for the closest parking spot. Opt to park away from the door—it’ll benefit your legs. Pick up the pace to a brisk walk for added benefit.
  • Add more steps to your day by getting off the bus, subway, or out of the taxi a few stops/streets earlier and walking the rest of the way.
  • Opt for the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator for some cardio and light resistance exercise.
  • Walk around the inside of the grocery store or mall prior to beginning your shopping.
  • Stretch your arms over your head and across your body while waiting in line.

While at home…

  • Do some quick yoga moves before getting out of bed.
  • Make multiple trips while unloading the car rather than trying to carry everything at once—this gives your legs a little extra exercise.
  • Do some reps with the shopping bags as you unload your car at home after going shopping.
  • Try some wall push-ups before you walk up your stairs at home.
  • Put some music on and dance around while you cook.
  • Try crunches or tricep dips during commercial breaks.
  • Clean up your house! Sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing the floor, washing windows, etc. are all physical activities that can keep you moving.
  • Play physical games like tag, freeze dance or musical chairs with your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews.
  • Walk to seek your kids or spouse rather than shouting their names or calling them on their phones.
  • Get your day off to a healthy start by waking up 15 minutes earlier to go for a walk outside before you begin getting ready for the day.
  • Bring the whole family outside for an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood.
  • Take your dog for an extra walk each day.
  • March in place during commercials, while cooking, or waiting in line.
  • Walk your child(ren) to the bus stop rather than driving.
  • Stroll around your bathroom while brushing your teeth.
  • Stand the entire time you wait for your meal to finish cooking.
  • Use commercial breaks as exercise breaks.

Reducing sedentary behavior is just as important as getting regular exercise! Stay active, keep moving, and improve your health!