If you’re trying to add more movement to your day, check out these tips. Even if you don’t have time for a long workout, daily movement breaks can be powerful for your mental health!
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While we did have planned exercise here (and the most beautiful hikes!), I sympathize with clients who aren’t able to get regular exercise in, due to accessibility, time, kids, scheduling, etc.
So, let’s review some tips for how to get more movement in your day. This doesn’t have to be extreme and is often a non diet resolution I’m recommending.
Why Movement In Your Day is Important
We all know we should be moving more sitting less. And while we are all starved on time, adding more movement to your day shouldn’t feel too overpowering.
On the days I don’t run, I honestly do find it challenging to get to the gold standard 10,000 steps. But when I’m conscious about it, I have found some tricks and ways that help me get there that I wanted to share.
There’s no denying the research about the benefits of exercise, including better mental health and cognition, cardiovascular health, weight management and more.
It doesn’t have to be extreme running or exercise that gets your heart rate through the roof. Walking is a great form, too!
How to Get More Movement In Your Day
Wear an activity band
While this one won’t motivate everyone, having a fitness tracker can be great for accountability and checking where you are.
Even if you don’t want to splurge for an apple watch or Garmin, there are plenty of budget-friendly options!
There’s no way to know how many steps you’ve taken without having something to show them (unless you miraculously can count your own steps).
Plus, it holds you accountable and seeing numbers can be a great motivator for how to move more during the day.
There are also ones that track sleep, heart rate and more now.
There’s an option to input food if you’re tracking calories, but I do not use that function. I also use the Garmin Forerunner for running workouts.
Walk around the block or up/down the street when you arrive or leave your house
Alot of tips to add more movement are going to rely on walking more because all of these steps add up!
I have a small loop (about .25 miles) in our neighborhood that I just walk around before walking out to my car, or when I get home for the day. I’ll just play a song and walk the loop. It helps me unwind as well as get some extra steps in. I call it “the scenic route.”
Keep a pair of sneakers in your car at all times
You never know when you’ll have an extra 20 minutes here or there! Or if you decide to scope out a park (or heck, even the parking lot next door!) on your lunch break, you’ll be prepared.
While you’re at it, get yourself a good gym bag to keep a set of walking or workout clothes in your car at all times.
How many times has it happened that a friend asked you to meet up at an exercise class or the gym, or for a walk, and you didn’t have clothes with you?
This helps for daily movement breaks!
If you’re on the phone, walk
If you can’t get outside, just pace inside your living room or office. It’s mindless and steps add up and releases some of the tension from sitting all the time.
Whether before bed or in the morning, a good stretch counts as movement and is important for posture and flexibility.
Do 20 jumping jacks when you get up
You’ll probably laugh at me (my husband does), but it gets my blood moving first thing! You can do them before you go to bed too if it doesn’t amp you up too much.
Do some calf raises when you’re in line or in the shower
If you’re standing in the shower, in coffee line or just standing still, do some calf raises. I do this while I;m microwaving food sometimes.
You are just adding in movement to a standing position you are already in – why not work the muscle a little bit? This can also help incorporate some stretching.
Try doing it with one foot to work on your balance.
Stand up every 30-40 minutes
I don’t care who you are, where you work, what you do…everyone can do this. This is the top tip for how to move more at work.
Sitting too long can be detrimental, and this one is doable for all of us!
Stand up, refill your water bottle, walk around your floor or building, walk down to your coworker rather than calling or emailing him/her – just get up often.
Utilize 1-2lb weights
Feel bad about not getting an upper body workout a couple of days of strength training in per week?
Well, when you’re walking, take 1-2 lb weights with you. You can sculpt your arms, shoulders, and wrists all while walking and increase that calorie burn.
And if you think 1-2 lb weights won’t do anything, you’re in for a real treat. You can feel the burn after a few minutes!
Do pushups, planks or squats during commercial breaks
This comes pretty naturally to me since I can never sit still, but it’s a great way to add in more activity to the environment you’re already in.
Body weight activities are so great for longevity!
Don’t worry about the shameful feeling of not making it to the gym, or not having time to drive there. Just incorporate small changes at home!
Find social events that encourage activity!
Before kids, we did a lot of pub runs. It’s a great social event (especially for marathon training) that ends with cold beer.
Social events and workout buddies can be motivating for all of the right reasons!
Doing these throughout the day are great ways to keep your muscles active, without taking 20-30 minutes to squeeze in a workout.
You’re just capitalizing on things you’re already doing, and small changes add up.
Behavior change is not about drastically cutting things out entirely or adding everything under the sun into your routine all at once. That would be a very difficult transition and nearly impossible to maintain.
Instead, it’s figuring out things you already do and places you already are, and sparking small changes there.