Adding regular physical activity into your daily routine is one of the best things you can do for your health. But a busy life can make it hard for you to find time to exercise. There are lots of ways you can add more movement into your day without it being a chore.
1. Park your car further than you need to
Rather than trying to park as close to your destination as possible, park a little further away and walk. Not only will you get more exercise, it will probably be less stressful parking further away as you won’t be battling for a park with everybody else.
2. Go for a walking meeting or get outside at lunchtime
Going for a walking meeting is fun, invigorating and gets your creative juices flowing. All that fresh air and blood pumping to your brain is great for problem-solving, too. Go for a power walk or run during your lunch break. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, you’ll feel great, have a change of scenery and be recharged for the afternoon.
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3. Stand, don’t sit
The research is pretty clear here – there are health risks associated with sitting too much including higher blood pressure, blood glucose, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels. So any chance you get, stand. This can be anything from standing during a meeting to standing while you’re on the phone. Any chance you have where you can stand rather than sit – take it! You can even set your phone timer to on-the-hour stand-up breaks.
4. Stretch while watching TV
Use the time you watch TV to do some stretches, planks or squats. Stand up during the commercials or, if you’re really up for it, stand up during the show and sit during the commercials.
5. Use things furthest from your desk
Use the bathroom that is furthest from your desk or, even better, one that’s on a different floor. Ditto with the printer, phone, water cooler and anything else in the office.
6. If it’s less than 1km away, walk
This is a great rule to apply to your life. If your destination is less than 1km away, rather than jumping in your car, walk, jog or bike. You’ll feel good and save petrol.
7. Take the stairs
This is a no-brainer. Ditch the lift and escalator and take the stairs.
8. Get off the bus/train a stop earlier
This is another great way to squeeze exercise into your day and you might save some money, too.
9. Play with your kids
Playing with your kids is a great way to get moving. Bounce on the trampoline, play hide and seek, tag or whatever game they come up with. You’ll get moving, have fun and your kids will love you for it!
10. Use technology
Fitness apps and wearable devices can help you set reminders, track your progress and monitor your activity levels. Seeing the number of steps taken or calories burned each day can be a good motivation to keep going. Listening to a podcast or some music while your walking can make it more fun, or try dancing to your favourite music while you get ready for work.
11. Set a goal and work towards it
Ever wanted to walk one of Aotearoa’s beautiful tracks or complete a 5km fun run? Setting a measurable, attainable and realistic goal will help you get there. Find out more about goal setting(external link) or action planning apps and tools(external link) that can help you.
12. Get a workout buddy
Being active with others is a great way to stay motivated. A little friendly competition can help challenge you to reach your goals. Get the whole whānau or your friends involved.
13. Already active?
If you’re are already active, then now might be a good time to increase your physical activity levels.
- Join a sports club.
- Try a new activity – mixing up different types of exercise is good for your mind and body.
- Exercise more often.
- Exercise at a higher intensity.
- Mix it up – do a combination of moderate, vigorous and strength-based activities.
Note: If you have a history of cardiovascular disease you should talk to your healthcare provider before undertaking starting any new physical activity.