10 Ways to Increase Your Daily Physical Activity
1. Track your daily steps with a wearable fitness tracker.
Monitoring your physical activity is one of the greatest ways to be proactive about improving it, and one of the simplest ways to do so is to invest in a wearable fitness tracker, such as a wristwatch.
These devices can provide a more accurate estimate of how much you're moving, making it easier to determine when you should be moving more.
In addition to making it easy to calculate how far you walk, there is evidence that using a wearable fitness tracker can lead to a natural increase in mobility.
A comprehensive review, for example, discovered that using a fitness tracker resulted in an extra 1,800 steps per day and 40 minutes of walking on average (not to mention a 1 kg weight loss).
2. Go for regular walks during your lunch break or before going to work.
If you discover that a hectic work schedule is one of the main barriers to getting more physical activity, you may need to take advantage of the downtime you do get during the day, even if it appears to be too short to be helpful.
Research, for example, compared the advantages of walking in brief 10-minute bursts vs longer 30-minute sessions.
The researchers eventually discovered that, while participants who took longer 30-minute walks saw greater improvements in various health metrics, the group that divided their walks into three short 10-minute bouts still saw significantly increased physical activity as well as improved diastolic blood pressure when compared to a control group that was not prescribed any walking regimen at all.
So, even if you can't take thirty minutes or more out of your day for a long walk, you can still benefit from breaking up your physical activity into shorter bursts when you have the opportunity.
You may go for a walk during your ten-minute work breaks or during your lunch break.
3. Begin your day with a brief workout.
If you find yourself starting the day with every intention of fitting in a workout after work but end up feeling too tired and unmotivated after a long day of taking care of your responsibilities, you might benefit from starting your day with a quick exercise session instead!
Rather than putting it off until later in the day, when you may lose enthusiasm or run out of time owing to your busy schedule, starting the day with a brief morning workout might help you cross your physical activity objective off your to-do list straight away.
Morning exercises may also aid in habit development, appetite/eating habits later in the day, and metabolic control induced by working out when fasted, all of which can add up to significant long-term outcomes!
It may take some time to acclimate to an earlier schedule, but it can result in significant long-term benefits.
4. Purchase a standing desk.
Simply replace your ordinary office desk with a standing workstation to enhance physical activity while barely moving at all.
Sedentary lifestyles are exacerbated by excessive sitting. Using a sit-stand desk or a raised laptop stand in the workplace can reduce sedentary behaviors and has even been associated to significant reductions in fasting triglycerides and insulin resistance, both of which are critical variables for your metabolic health.
Begin by standing for twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes of sitting. Then repeat the process.
Once you've gotten used to your standing desk workstation, you can start standing for extended periods of time, such as 45 minutes out of the hour.
You could add a walking mat underneath your desk to boost the ante even more. That could significantly boost your movement while on the clock!
5. Alter your usual commute.
You may struggle with sitting for lengthy amounts of time throughout your commute, in addition to sitting for long periods of time at work.
So, if possible, try other modes of transportation to work, such as walking or biking, to naturally improve your physical activity during the day. Bonus: it'll probably be a terrific mood booster, because sitting in traffic for hours is never fun.
If walking or bicycling to work isn't an option due to distance, safety, or weather, you can still use this strategy. For example, you may simply begin parking further away from the building where you work, requiring a longer walk to your desk.
You might also use the stairs instead of the elevator to increase your heart rate before sitting down to your day's tasks.
6. Participate in a YouTube workout or at-home fitness class.
Even though going to the gym or signing up for an in-person fitness class may seem like the "gold standard" for getting a solid exercise, it is far from the only choice. Furthermore, many people find that their schedules are too crowded to attend a gym or class on a regular basis.
So, if a traditional gym membership doesn't fit into your current lifestyle for whatever reason, you can still get a terrific workout from the comfort of your own home by following along with video workouts!
Video exercises allow you to follow an organized training routine without leaving the house, making them an excellent option for anyone who lacks the time or means to go to a gym or class during the day.
Video workouts can also be quite useful in increasing your physical fitness.
A recent 2022 study discovered that incorporating weekly muscle-strengthening and aerobic video exercises into fitness routines was associated with significant benefits in participants' moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, sleep efficiency, and physical activity frequency.
The study also found that after doing video workouts, participants felt better self-confidence and perceived fewer barriers to exercise!
7. Participate in a new sport.
Similar to video workouts, gym activities such as lifting and running are likely the first exercises that come to mind when considering improving your physical activity. But don't forget to think about participating in sports!
Participation in sports and recreational activities such as cycling and tennis has been linked to a lower risk of obesity in persons aged 40 and up.
Including sports-based training in your routine might be simple. Instead of watching TV, you could buy some baseball gloves and a softball and play catch with your partner or family.
You might also look into recreational options in your city or town, or call your local gym to see if they have adult leagues for the sport of your choosing.
8. Set aside an hour each day for housework that gets you moving.
They must be completed, so why not set aside some time each day for chores that you know will keep you engaged and moving?
Weeding or pruning your garden, vacuuming, or walking the dog one more time are all guaranteed to get you off your feet.
All of these tasks will automatically get you moving and keep you productive. Your family and health will be grateful!
9. Take frequent stretch breaks throughout the day.
During the workday, it is easy to lose track of time. Suddenly, you realize you've been sitting in your chair for hours, concentrated on the task at hand. Of course, this is beneficial to your job performance, but excessive sitting is not necessarily beneficial to your physical health.
So, break up your workday! Try implementing frequent stretches into your day to offer your mind and body a much-needed respite.
This practice keeps you moving more, and it can even help you avoid pain and stiffness in the future.
One study, for example, discovered that participants who were instructed to participate in frequent stretch interventions saw considerable pain reduction compared to a control group that was not instructed to stretch on a regular basis.
Allow yourself five minutes every hour or so to stand up, move about, and stretch. Set an hourly timer and recruit your officemates if you need help remembering to do this.
You'll all benefit from a much-needed mental wellness vacation, plus you'll get some good exercise in the process!
10. Make your screen time an occasion to workout.
Aside from work and daily duties, there is another factor that contributes to a sedentary lifestyle: screen time. Our frequent exposure to screens may eventually lead to excessive sedation.
But you don't have to give up your screen time entirely, especially if it's one of your favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day.
Instead, seek out ways to get some exercise in even when you're relaxing with your favorite shows or social networking sites!
For example, you may attempt to do as many sit-ups as you can before the commercial break, or you could do some Pilates or yoga while watching a movie.
Standing instead of sitting on the couch while using social media can help you get the most out of it.
Finding ways to get more activity every day is one of the best ways to make progress on your health and fitness goals. We recommend trying a few different approaches to see what works best for your lifestyle.
Small tweaks pile up over time and can make a big difference!