31 Dec FIT MORE MOVEMENT INTO YOUR DAY
The term ‘incidental exercise’ will probably not be new to you; as the cooler weather settles in we tend to increase our sedentary habits, which makes it the perfect time to revisit some incidental exercise ideas and see which of these habits you could incorporate into your daily routine.
Incidental exercise is the exercise you get when exercising is not your main objective – ‘exercising by accident’ you could say. Incorporating mini bursts of activity throughout your day will help counter the effects of extending sitting (hello office workers!), and while those little bouts of physical movement might seem inconsequential - when you add up your daily total, the benefits to your health and wellbeing are significant.
None of the tips that we’re suggesting are earth shattering, in fact, most of them are things that you could start doing today (if you’re not already doing them!)
Take the stairs. Use the stairs instead of elevators and escalators whenever possible; if you do jump on the escalators – walk up and down them rather than wait for them to drop you off.
Get off early. Take public transport? Get off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way (if you think you’re going to forget, or chicken out once you’re sitting comfy – walk to the next stop before you get on board!)
Take a stand. Picking up the phone? Pick yourself up off that chair! You burn more calories standing than sitting, and even more when you add movement - so get walking while you’re talking.
Hunt for the farthest parking space. Park your car a little farther from your office or the shops. Bonus advantage: hopefully saving your car’s paintwork from the wayward shopping trolleys!
Sit time? Make that fit time! If you’re settling in for tonight’s episode of Masterchef, create an ad-break workout: 10 squats, 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, and shoot up and down your stairs; or challenge yourself to a plank challenge – can you plank for the entire length of the ad break?
Keep a pair of sneakers at the ready. Stow a pair of walking shoes in your car. you just never know when you might find yourself with time to fill in.
Make it a social event. Instead of catching up over a coffee sitting down, get it to takeaway and explore the local area. Better yet, how about meeting for a game of golf, tennis or other favourite activity (when was the last time you went ten pin bowling?!)
Listen in. Make an evening walk more appealing by listening to an audiobook. You’ll walk further to hear more and you’ll look forward to tomorrows walk
Turn it up. Get enthusiastic about the housework (hey, if it’s got to be done anyway… you might as well double up the benefits!) turn on some music and have a dance around the house while you are vacuuming or sweeping.
Count those steps. Try a pedometer – you don’t have to purchase a high tech wearable band if you’re not ready to invest in one, there are other options including some cheap and simple devices which can be found in your local fitness aisle, or if you own an iPhone 5s or 6 check out the Health app which features a pedometer function. By keeping an eye on your steps and setting yourself a goal to aim for, you’ll keep