11 Ways to Incorporate More Movement Into Your Day
The reality of our world today means a lot of sitting down which translates to you not getting a lot of movement.
Whether that’s at your office desk, in front of your computer, in front of your TV, in your car, among many others, there’s no denying that we aren’t moving as much on a daily basis as we should be.
In fact, even people who consider themselves to be active aren’t immune to the problem of sitting too much.
Many active people get their exercise done in the morning. They spend a couple of hours at the gym, or take a class, but then they end up spending the rest of the day sitting.
Cramming all of your daily movement into an hour or two just doesn’t cut it.
The key to leading a more active lifestyle that will give you the best health benefits is to find ways to be more physically active throughout the entire day.
Before we go into ways you can be more active, let’s talk about why being inactive is so harmful for your body.
The Hazards of a Sedentary Lifestyle
Studies show that sitting too much is incredibly damaging to the human body.
And, if you’re the average person, you’re spending 12 hours a day sitting.
That is literally half of the day.
And here’s why that’s such a problem:
1. Lower calorie burning
You don’t need to be at the gym all day to be burning calories.
In fact, you can do it via something called NEAT — non-exercise activity thermogenesis. You can achieve this low-level of energy burning simply by standing and walking.
Without exuding too much energy, you are still getting the benefits of burning calories via NEAT.
But, if you’re spending your time just sitting, you’re missing out on the opportunity for NEAT.
2. Increased chances of weight gain
This one is pretty obvious — the more time you spend sitting, the fewer calories you burn.
And, the fewer calories you burn, the more you are likely to gain weight.
In fact, sitting too much can lead to extreme weight gain — obesity.
3. Increased risk for disease
Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are the top contenders for diseases you’re putting yourself at risk for when you sit too much.
People leading sedentary lives are 112% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and 147% more likely to develop heart disease.
3. Early death
Research shows that people who spend the majority of their day sitting are putting themselves at a 22-49% higher risk of early death than someone who is more active throughout the day.
4. Can’t reverse the damage with one hour at the gym
As mentioned above, the negative effects of sitting for the better part of the day cannot be reversed by an hour or two at the gym.
Sitting for long periods of time, despite the exercise you did this morning, is bad for you.
5. Vein problems
A sedentary lifestyle can wreak some serious havoc on your veins. If they become damaged in any way, then you’ll likely start to see some problems, most commonly in the form of varicose veins.
Veins can become damaged for a number of reasons, but sitting too much will only exacerbate the problem.
How to Lead a More Active Life
Being more active does not mean extending your gym time, or forcing yourself to partake in workouts you hate.
Being more active means incorporating simple movements into your daily life so that you are getting up and moving regularly throughout the day.
There are some fun and easy ways to do this..
Read on to see our favorite ways to bring more activity into your everyday life.
1. Instead of running your errands via your car, walk them
If possible, walk to the grocery store and the post office rather than driving there.
Though it will make your errand running take a bit longer, we promise it is worth your while.
You’ll find that you grow to love this time to get out and walk.
Walking is not only great because of its physical benefits, but also because of its mental ones.
Walking is one of the best ways to clear your head and get a new perspective.
2. Take a hike
You don’t have to plan a difficult climb up a mountain. Simply walking on the natural earth as you do during a hike will give you movement and connection to nature.
Bonus points if you take off your shoes and walk barefoot.
3. If you want to sit, sit on the floor
Sitting on the floor gives your body a new way to configure its joints, and also provides you the opportunity to get in some balance and strength work.
So if you want to do some work, watch some TV, or read a book, grab a pillow and sit on the floor instead.
4. Exercise while watching TV
Instead of looking at TV as a negative thing that’s all about that couch potato life, take instead your time in front of the TV to do a bit of exercise.
It doesn’t have to be anything intense. Simply walking in place or doing some basic movements on an exercise ball will greatly impact your health.
5. Take the stairs whenever you can
Not only are stairs great for your leg muscles, they are also a great way to get in some cardio.
So next time you’re heading a few floors up, opt for the stairs.
6. Walk and talk
Want to call and catch up with an old friend?
How about you do it while walking? All you need to do is put on your headphones and your tennis shoes and head outside.
Chances are good the conversation will keep you so distracted that you aren’t even thinking about the walking.
7. Stand up regularly
This is especially important for those whose work requires them to sit at a desk for 8+ hours.
You can help make the problem of sitting too much better by standing up every 30 minutes to an hour.
Doing this will keep your muscles moving and your body happy.
Stretching is a fabulous way to get your blood flowing and your circulation moving again. In addition, it helps keep your spine healthy.
Plus, stretching takes minimal effort — a few simple movements is all you need.
9. Wake up early
While it is important to get enough sleep every night, you don’t want to be cutting into your active daytime by laying in bed.
Once you’ve gotten your 6-8 hours of sleep, get up and get moving!
10. Cook more
You may not have the time to cook every day, but when you do, take advantage of it!
Cooking burns more calories than going to eat out or ordering in since you’re moving around the kitchen while you prepare your meal.
In addition, people tend to eat fewer calories when they cook at home as opposed to eating out.
11. Drink more water
Drinking water is beneficial to your health for a number of reasons.
But, chances are good you haven’t thought about the fact that the more water you drink, the more you’ll be moving.
Yes, we are talking about the fact that you’ll be using the restroom more often.
So why not reap all the benefits of water and consume lots of it?
Incorporating more movement into your day does not have to be difficult.
By tweaking a few things in your daily life, you’ll really be enriching it, and improving your whole life as a result.
If you’re struggling with vein issues and want to make sure you’re being active in a smart and healthy way, schedule a free consultation with a vein specialist at Vein Clinics of America today. Our physicians meet the highest industry standards and will bring you the best vein treatment from start to finish.
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