Get Moving – 5 Creative Ways to Move More
Desk jobs, modern lifestyles, and the rise of technology have led people in the U.S. to be more inactive than ever before. Sitting disease (no, I’m not making that up) is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and is taking a toll on health. According to John Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., “A large review of studies published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that even after adjusting for physical activity, sitting for long periods was associated with worse health outcomes including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Sedentary behavior can also increase your risk of dying, either from heart disease or other medical problems.” It’s more important now than ever to get moving!
So basically, even if you’re exercising every day, it matters what you do the rest of the day. If you feel like you sit too long during the day (if you stay home or have a desk job this most likely applies to you!), then you need to find ways to move more beyond daily exercise. We’ve come up with 5 creative ways to get moving, and they’re so easy, anyone can do them!
1. Track Your Steps.
Many phones now have a feature (or at least an app you can download) that will track your steps. Keep your phone in your pocket and try to hit a step goal for the day! Start at 8,000 for your goal and work your way up. You can also get a smartwatch and let it track your steps–a good one will also track your heart rate and calories burned throughout the day!
Walking is so great for your health and one of the easiest ways to get moving. It improves sleep, reduces stress, and increases your HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol). It also slows mental decline, helps depression, clears your mind, and boosts your energy levels. Walking doesn’t require any special equipment or skills either, and it’s low impact, so virtually anyone can do it!
2. Pick Up the Pace.
We’re talking speed walking here. If you’re like me, this is what you do anyway. I’m that person that is weaving in and out of people at the store because I really can’t stand to walk slowly, especially when I have things to do and places to go! The exception for that is when I’m at Target, because really…who can rush through Target??
Speed walking has all of the same benefits as normal walking, but the faster pace adds a few more benefits. Speed walking raises your heart rate into the moderate-intensity zone, which not only helps with weight loss but also overall fitness and endurance. It also increases the flexibility of your muscles and joints since you’re using a wider range of motion.
Now, if you’re someone who likes to shuffle along when you walk, don’t worry. You don’t have to speed walk everywhere you go. Pick up the pace when you’re walking from your car to the store, or when you’re cleaning around the house. It doesn’t have to be every time you walk somewhere. But making an effort to increase your heart rate and amount of steps whenever you can will add up!
3. Take the Stairs.
I know you’ve heard this one before. But taking the stairs is a classic way to improve your health and build healthy bones, muscles, and joints. Not only that, but did you know that climbing just two flights of stairs per day can result in losing six pounds a year? That’s a pretty awesome payoff for just two flights a day…and if you have stairs at home you probably accomplish that before lunch!
Stairs are also a really great workout on their own. All it takes is a few minutes and you’ll burn more calories per minute than jogging! You can run up and down them a few times (take two steps at a time for an even better–and harder–workout) or even jump off of a lower step into a squat.
4. Just Dance.
Hosting your own personal dance party has physical as well as mental benefits. Not only does it burn about the same amount of calories as jogging, but freestyle dancing can also reduce the onset of dementia! Mind blown (pun intended). Take 10 minutes each day to blast some jams and it will increase your energy, boost your mood, and burn some calories!
If you aren’t the most coordinated dancer in the world (I’m really talking about myself here), just remember that it’s all about moving. Moving your body consistently for even a few minutes will get your heart rate up and boost your metabolism. My kids and I have frequent dance parties–they’re young and don’t know what good dancing looks like but I don’t care because it’s all about having fun! Plus it helps them get moving…and hopefully by starting them young they can be better dancers than me. 😉
5. Get Moving During Mundane Tasks.
Folding laundry? For every 10 items you fold, get up and do 10 jumping jacks or 10 burpees. Dance while vacuuming or dusting. When you’re watching TV, get up and do some burpees or push-ups during the commercials. Or if you’re binge-watching a show on Netflix and there aren’t any commercials, set a timer for every 15 minutes and get up and move for two minutes. Again, whatever you can do to get moving more often.
Find Excuses to Move.
Finding excuses to get moving is easy…instead of sending that email to your coworker who works just down the hall from you, walk over to talk to them. Instead of sitting down frequently during the day because you’re tired, find ways to get your energy up by dancing, doing some jumping jacks, or doing a quick sprint up the stairs.
Really, it all comes down to excuses. Are you going to find more excuses to sit? Or are you going to find more excuses to get up and move more? We hope it’s the latter.