April is Move More Month so we’d like to share 10 fun and easy ways you can effortlessly incorporate more movement into your daily routine.
Our bodies were designed to move. But our busy lifestyles often make it hard to find time for consistent exercise.
Lack of physical activity affects our mental and physical health, putting you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression.
Here’s the good news: increasing your daily physical activity provides many health benefits. Increasing physical activity can help you live a longer, healthier life. Exercise can also help control your weight, improve your mood and mental health, combat disease, improve your sleep, give you more energy, reduce stress and even improve brain function.
For many, the American Heart Association's recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week seems unrealistic and unattainable. Most of us feel like there aren’t enough hours a day to get everything done that we already have to do!
That’s why we like to focus on small changes. Small, effortless changes are easy to make and easy to stick with. And you’d be surprised at how quickly those small changes add up!
That’s why one of the first tips we suggest is getting a fitness tracking device so you can see what a difference these changes make for you.
Here are 10 fun and easy ways to move more for better health.
1. Fitness tracking device. Get a wearable fitness tracking device to help measure your progress and stay on track. Research shows that these devices help people achieve their daily movement goals.
2. Take a hike. Enjoy a walk outdoors either alone or with your dog. The fresh air and vitamin D will be a much needed boost for your health and your mood! If you’re looking for a spot to hike, just do an internet search on “where to go hiking near me” for a list of nearby trails.
3. Spring cleaning. Sweeping and mopping floors, dusting ceiling fans and tall shelves, cleaning out closets, and eliminating clutter involve bending, stretching, twisting, and lots of walking. So even if you don't see any movement on the scale, you can enjoy the bonus of a clean and tidy home!
4. Stop and smell the flowers. Immerse yourself in yardwork or gardening. Raking leaves, pulling weeds, and planting gardens give your muscles a much-needed workout, your brain a much-needed rest, and a bounty of beautiful flowers or tasty vegetables to enjoy in the coming weeks.
5. STRE-E-E-TCH Enjoy a good stretch. Stretching improves flexibility and relieves tension.
6. Don’t just sit there. Whether sitting and working or watching tv, you can move more by doing some chair exercises while you sit!
Here's a 20-minute video of chair exercises most everyone can do. What’s great about this video is it demonstrates both beginner and advanced versions of each exercise.
If your goal is to sit less at work or your home office you might want to consider a standing desk. Here are some conversion kits.
7. Maximize television time. Think about using a treadmill, stationary bike or portable pedal exerciser while watching television.
Get moving during commercial breaks! Stand up and stretch, do some jumping jacks, march in place, or take a quick walk around the house.
Do you know that for every hour of primetime television programming, there are at least 14 minutes and 32 seconds of commercials? So just by getting up and moving during the commercials on your favorite primetime show, you’ll get about 15 minutes of exercise!
8. Spend more time in nature. There are so many activities you can do outdoors--take a walk, go for a hike, fly a kite, play with your dog. It will benefit your body as well as your spirit.
9. Break it up. If you’re going to be sitting for a while, take a break every 30 minutes and walk or stretch for 5 minutes.
If you’re like most people you probably need a reminder to take a break. This is where a fitness tracking device comes in handy. It’ll remind you when it’s time to move.
If you don’t have an activity tracker here are four free apps to check out:
Stretchly (Windows, macOS, Linux): Simple Reminder for Micro and Long Breaks.
Stretch Reminder (Android, iOS): Reminders and GIFs to Stretch Periodically.
Unhook (Android): Set Screen Time Limits, And Walk to Get More Time.
Micro Breaks (Chrome): Customizable Reminder for Multiple Breaks.
10. Every step counts. Instead of taking the parking spot closest to the door park a little further away.
Hopefully this has inspired you to find creative ways to add more movement in your life.