Like a lot of us, you probably spend a lot of time sitting, whether it be in your car, at your desk, or on your sofa. All of this sitting can be detrimental to your health. Even if you have a consistent routine with regular trips to the gym, it will only benefit your health to stay active as much as possible throughout the entire day. Here are a few ways that you can stay active all day long, even when you’re not sweating it up at the gym.
1. Walk as much as possible
Walking is one of the easiest, most convenient activities you can do to stay active. If you pick up the pace and keep attention to the number of steps you take, you’ll likely burn more calories while you’re at it. Walk during your breaks at work, get up and walk to your coworker’s desk with the message you have for them rather than emailing it, walk to lunch, or simply pace around your desk or office space while you talk on the phone. Whatever kind of extra walking you do will be advantageous to your health.
2. Stand up more
Work is a place where many of us are inactive for hours. Sedentary workspaces can result in a lost opportunity to burn hundreds of calories. Stand up desks could help change that. Standing burns up to about 30 calories an hour more versus sitting – that can really add up by the end of the week! If your workplace isn’t a stand-up kind of space, take a five-minute break at least once an hour to stand up or engage in some type of activity.
3. Fidget while you work
Instead of whistling while you work, try fidgeting. In some workspaces, it’s simply not appropriate to incorporate more standing in your workday. In comes fidgeting! Even small amounts of movements like tapping your toes, drumming your legs, or jiggling your body a bit can increase your calorie burn above resting levels. Another option is to replace your desk chair with an exercise ball. Sitting on the ball will force you to stabilize your abs while you work, and a little bouncing on it will help shed a few extra calories per hour, too.
4. Do your chores more often
Stay active by checking your chores off of your to-do list. You might not consider cleaning as a form of exercise, but it can help you burn quite a few extra calories! When you’re dragging your vacuum through the house, or mopping those floors, you’re using a variety of muscle groups without even realizing it. If you want to make the most of your calorie-burning cleaning, try squeezing your tush every time you take a step or holding your core tight while you work.
5. Get your dance moves on
Going out for lattes or drinks after work with friends? Find a coffee shop or bar with live music and swap the beverages for dancing. Not only will dancing spice up your night out, it’ll also distract you from drinking empty calories that will most likely lead to overeating later. Believe it or not, dancing can zap 200+ calories for every half-hour on the dance floor!
6. Be impatient
Waiting for the bus, a train, a flight, or your friend after work? Instead of sitting on the depot bench, in the terminal, or park bench, pace around. Cover some ground in the area while you wait, rather than being idle. Waiting for an appointment? Stay active by standing, instead of sitting in the waiting room, and tap your toes. Any additional time spent OUT of a chair will increase your calorie burn throughout the day.
7. Take the long way
Everyone knows the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So, if you’re looking to stay active and burn a few extra calories throughout your day, take the long way around. Park further from your work entrance, take a longer, roundabout way back to your desk, and organize your workspace in such a way that you have to stand up to reach frequently used files, the phone, or the printer.
With just a few small adjustments to your workday, you can stay active and increase your calorie burn as you work.
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.