We know that exercise is one of the best things for physical health and also makes a huge difference in mental health. One health and wellness site even stated, “Aside from quitting smoking, exercising on a regular basis is probably the next most important thing that you can do to improve your health.” Others agree.
Exercising on a regular basis can seem so daunting, but the truth is, you don’t need to join forces with the gym rats to reap the benefits of regular exercise. The mayo clinic says adults need 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity. That divides out to a little over 20 minutes a day. How can you reach that without embarking on a strict exercise routine? I’ve put together a sample day which meets the requirements and doesn’t involve any “exercise” in the way that we think of it.
- Wake up and jog in place while your coffee brews. 2 minutes.
- As you brush your teeth in the morning, do squats. 3 minutes.
- On your lunch break, power walk around the office or around the block. 5 minutes.
- Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk briskly in and out. 2 minutes.
- Crank out some push-ups during Netflix or YouTube ads or television commercials. 5 minutes.
- Do squats again when you brush your teeth in the evening. 3 minutes
- Before your shower, do lunges for 1 minute.
- See how many sit-ups you can do in a minute when you lay down to sleep. 1 minute.
Total: 22 minutes! It’s easy to see how simple it can be to work exercise into your routine with a little mindfulness and creativity.
A few other ideas to get some physical activity in your day-to-day life:
- To spend time with someone (friend, partner, dog, whoever), suggest a walk around the park together rather than meeting at a restaurant. My husband and I love to go on evening walks through the park near our house. It’s fun, good exercise, and a great time for good conversation!
- Ride your bike on nearby errands or to work.
- Bring yard games to play at a bonfire.
- Do lunges when walking through the house.
- Find a good playlist or Pandora station with music that you can’t help but dance to. Then turn it on and dance!
- Spend some time playing a sport. Shoot hoops, toss around a football or a baseball, or hit a tennis ball back and forth.
- Stop fighting for the closest parking spot. Spots at the back of the parking lot are less crammed and it’s easier to remember where your vehicle is! Enjoy the walk into the store.
- If you spend most of your day sitting, set a timer to go off every hour and remind you to get up and move. Stretch, jog in place, or take a quick walk.
- Walk your dog or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
- Take kids to the park and play on the swings or monkey bars with them.
- Make it a habit to do a certain simple exercise when doing tedious tasks like waiting for water to boil on the stove, waiting for coffee to brew, brushing your teeth, watching television, doing laundry, or whatever you find yourself doing regularly. If you always do X when doing Y (like calf raises while doing laundry) it will become a habit pair and you’ll easily work that extra exercise into your day!
- When visiting a new city, walk around downtown. It’s good exercise, but you’ll also have a more complete experience of the city than if you took a cab!
- Use a 7 minute workout app (there are many free ones) to squeeze in an effective workout on the go.
- Keep activity on your mind. Just being mindful of how much time you’re moving each day will make a huge difference when it comes to taking advantage of little moments to move!
What are some other ideas of ways we can get more movement in our days? Share in the comments section below! I’d also love to hear if you’d be interested in a similar post, but with nutrition hacks instead of exercise hacks.
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