Ever since the beginning of my fitness journey (or weight loss journey) I have REALLY struggled with getting more active the most. I, like a few other people in the world I am sure (no need to raise hands!), am inherently LAZY. It is a personality flaw I have. What can I say? I just really like to laze around the house and do nothing! Ha! When trying to lose weight though, or even just to maintain a healthy body, staying active is one of the best ways to reach your goals. Whether you are an exercise-every-single-day-for-hours kind of person or an I-try-to-do-it-when-I-can-if-I-feel-like-it kinda person, everyone could benefit from a little extra activity and there are some very simple things to implement to make your lifestyle more active and healthier, without actually hitting the gym! #winning
Here are some tricks I have found helpful:
I have an aunt who recently loss bucket-loads of weight and changed her life entirely, and she said the biggest thing for her was trying to get to 10,000 steps every single day. It doesn’t have to involve running around the track (although it can!), but getting more steps gets your body moving and more active. Park farther away at the grocery store, take the longer route when walking from point A to point B, walk instead of driving if your destination is a short enough distance away. I might even recommend investing in a pedometer to track your steps if you want to get really serious, I have seen ones as cheap as $7 or $8 on Amazon, but I have had my eye lately on the slightly more pricey FitBit because it has such great reviews and so many cool features!
Take the Stairs
Do you usually take the elevator at work? Well stop that right now and get to work on those stairs! It only takes a little bit more time and stair action is great for your legs and getting the blood moving. Not to mention it helps you get in some of those extra steps I mentioned earlier!
Stand Instead of Sitting
Alright, this one might be a little more tricky because you might work a desk job, but standing allows your body to work more muscles and burns about double the amount of calories than sitting does. This means if you can get up and stand for a few minutes every hour, or maybe ever 45 minutes you can take a little walk around the cubicles to get your body moving you should do it.
Do ACTIVE Housework
Yes, if you were to spot me vacuuming my floors, you would see me doing lunges as I go along. I know it is kind of silly but adding in a few extra leg workouts while I vacuum helps me to get in all of the strength exercises I should be doing daily. Housework in general can be a little bit of a workout sometimes, but some tasks are more-so than others. Some sweat-inducing task ideas include weeding the garden, scouring the tub or shower, scrubbing the floors, rearranging furniture, or raking the yard. Maybe this one will be hard for some of you really neat and tidy people, but when was the last time your furniture got vacuumed or your baseboards and walls all got a scrub down? There are tons of easy workout activities all dressed up as housework. Even if you can’t think of a high-intensity chore to do, you can add quite a bit more activity and burn more calories just by doing your regular chores a little more enthusiastically.
Add Mini-Activities to Your Regular Habits
There are a few things we do every single day like getting dressed or brushing our teeth, so something I started doing is picking a couple of tasks and every time I have to do them, I add a physical activity too. For example, every single time I go to the restroom, I do five squats first. Or ten, if I feel ambitious. Every time I brush my teeth, I do ten crunches. It is sort of a silly method but just like lunging when I vacuum, it keeps me motivated toward actually reaching my goals.
I feel like everyone should make this a to-do, whether you are trying to be more active or not! Dancing is SO much fun! If you can manage to spare a minute to dance around and wiggle all you’ve got in the middle of the day then do, because it is an awesome way of getting a lot of activity packed into a short amount of time since you are working so many body parts. Now, I am not saying you should stand up in the middle of the office and become Jim Carrey doing the Samba from The Mask, (double points if you do though!) but if you can do a little jig on your break or even dance in the car to your favorite song on your way home you get all the extra added activity!
Strengthening in the Car
Speaking of moving around in the car, a lot of us spend a large portion of our time glued to the seat of a car (or train/bus/whatever). Why let this time go to waste? A really good, not-so-noticeable exercise you can add in while you are sitting there are muscle clenches. You just focus on a specific muscle group and work on tensing those muscles tight and holding it for a few seconds, then releasing. Repeat as many times as you feel really give you a good workout. You could do arms, your belly, your butt, your legs, all easily without other people really being aware of what you are doing (bonus for those using public transportation!) Just make sure if you are driving that you focus on driving first, your toned stomach does no good if you are splattered across the pavement because you were trying to exercise while driving- leave these exercises for when you are not the one in control of the wheel and really make use of that free time!
Hopefully a few of these tips can inspire some of you with ways to add more activity into your own lifestyle! Good Luck!