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Sure, hitting the gym and sweating hard for an hour or two is great for your health. But when it comes to weight management, a generally healthy lifestyle, and improving your overall wellness there’s a lot you can do for the other 20+ hours of the day too. Learning how to move more during the day without carving out extra time dedicated to exercise is an easy way to improve your health and fitness.
Upping your overall step count and activity level can reap health rewards like:
- Better brain health
- Strengthening muscles
- Boosting your immune system
- Helping your mental health
- Increasing energy levels and decreasing tiredness and lethargy
Because so many of us have desk jobs and do most of our walking between the desk chair and the fridge (hello, work from home perks) it can be difficult to meet your step goal if you’re not consciously trying to add more movement into your day.
Without feeling like you’re constantly working out, here are 10 ways to get a few more steps and a little bit more movement into your daily routine.
1. Take a pre or post dinner walk
Tying your activity levels to something which is already a habit can be helpful if you struggle to find time for exercise. Talking a gentle stroll around the block or to a local park after (or before) dinner can be a fun activity for singles, couples, or families. Not only will you start to look forward to your daily dose of steps, but you might also see benefits in terms of digestion and appetite. But remember, it’s a walk. Not a race or a workout. Save the heavier sessions for at least a couple of hours before or after eating.
2. Set an activity alarm with a reminder to move
Every hour, set an alarm with a reminder to get up and move. Take three to five minutes to march in place, fetch some water or coffee, or even do a few stretches and star jumps. If you do that every hour for eight hours, you’ll fit in anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes of extra activity per day. Not bad for a couple of minutes at a time!
3. Always opt to walk where possible
Little changes can make a big difference when it comes to getting more steps in. If you want to increase your activity levels during the day, start looking for opportunities to make walking and moving around habit. Returning your cart to the store entrance, parking further away from the shop, taking the stairs when you can, and doing short errands on foot rather than taking the car or public transport can all make a big difference to how much time you spend moving instead of sitting still. And of course, we always recommend some dancing and singing along to great music when you hit the kitchen to cook dinner.
4. Invest in a desk treadmill or bike
Ok, so this one is a little out there! But if you have the space and funds available plus you work long hours a desk treadmill, bike, or elliptical can help you get steps in! While some people can work while actually walking out and about, it isn’t always possible for everyone.
Some of the under desk options are truly portable too, like this bike. If you find an options which folds up nice and small, you can use it while you take couple of business calls or a block of your day where you usually do admin or respond to mails. It might feel over the top, but hey – it’s a manageable way to ramp up those activity levels.
5. Get a dog (and automatically move more)
We’re not saying everyone should get a dog right now but if you’ve had a yearning for a furry friend, they can be incredibly good for overall wellness. We know for sure that dogs offer plenty of mental health benefits, but there are great physical ones too.
If you have a dog, you’ll need to walk and play with them regularly – which means plenty of outings to parks, beaches, and on long walks around the neighborhood. Your general activity levels outside of scheduled walks might improve too, if you’re chasing them around, playing fetch or tug, and clearing up after they’ve shredded a toilet roll in a zoomies session.
Otherwise, why not volunteer to walk someone’s dog? An elderly person, busy parent, or someone with physical disabilities might be forever grateful and you’ll get all the fun parts without the commitment of being a pooch owner yourself.
Add More Healthy Meals to Your Steps
Getting more activity into your lifestyle is admirable, and opting to move more during the day will undoubtedly make you feel better. But remember that a nutritious and well-balanced diet is key to staying on track with your health goals. While you don’t have to stick to salad and chicken breast every day, meal planning can be a lifesaver in terms of healthy eating – especially if you’re busy or struggle to find recipe inspiration.
Whisk allows you to customize a meal plan using recipes from absolutely anywhere, then share it with friends and family. Plus, we’ll even send you recommendations for recipes you’ll love during your healthy lifestyle journey. Sign up to get started!