I’m a HUGE advocate of the fact that small steps can make the most monumental impact on your health and wellness and one of those things is to incorporate movement into your every day. It’s not always about looking like a hot mess, whilst sweating out of every orifice and crumbling into an exhausted heap. Yeah, exercise is epic for your heart health, your fitness and all the things BUT daily movement is so often overlooked.
We live super busy lives and so often we are careering from one thing to the next and that might look like not moving from our desks from hours on end, doing the things we always do because it takes no thought or grabbing the car keys for every journey.
Let’s look at little ways to add extra movement into your every day;
Use The Loo On The Next Floor – yup, this one doesn’t even mean that you have to leave the house. If you live in a house with an upstairs and downstairs loo it’s an easy one to implement. Simply, if you’re upstairs and you need the loo then you use the downstairs loo. If you’re downstairs & need the loo then you use the upstairs loo. My office is on the first floor and will use the downstairs loo but on an evening and I’m sat downstairs or I’m writing in the kitchen then I’ll use the upstairs loo. If you don’t have separate loos on separate floors but do live in a house with stairs then you can add a up & down of the stairs before or after each loo trip of the day.
The Commute I always rolled my eyes when I saw fitness tips talk about the fact that you could substitute your usual commute with an active commute or that you could get off the bus or train a couple of stops early. Get back in the pond you silly duck, I work from home! BUT, that’s very linear thinking Holmesy! You can add a commute to your day even if you work from home. The simple act of a 10-15 minute walk around the block before and after work can be massively beneficial in many ways. You can spend the morning walk setting yourself up for the day, thinking about what you need to get done and what the day holds, how you will anticipate or deal with any curve balls and how you’ll smash your to do list. The evening one can be used to have a disconnect from your work, a wind down, to process the actions and activities of the day and allow you to close off your mind to the working day. 15 minutes per day is 91 hours per year. If you walk at approximately 3 miles an hour then you can hit a whopping 273 miles per year. Doing that twice per day means that you can have walked an extra 546 miles per year with your 15 min walk round the block twice per day!
Sub A Journey – in 2014 the ONS reported that 42% of all car journeys were less than 2 miles (a 10 min bike ride or a 30-40 min walk). I used to jump in the car to take the kids 0.75 miles to school, or to dizzy to the supermarket (0.5 miles) and other ridiculous kinda journeys. Here’s the thing, that’s not cool for the enviroment and wholly unnecessary. I used the excuse that I was busy and needed to get tasks/errands/journeys done as quickly and efficiently as possible. That was BS. In fact these journeys didn’t actually cost me a lot more time under my own steam than they did in the car. The net cost in time of the school run was 10 mins – walking v car. By the time I’d got everyone sorted and in the car, got to school, parked up, got the kids to destination it wasn’t as time effective as I was telling myself. Look at where you can sub a car journey for a journey under your own steam.
Elongate What You Already Do – take the dog out for a walk on a morning? Already have an errand/task you do on foot? Then perhaps you can add 5-10 mins to this, giving you a little more fresh air, vitD top up and movement in your day.
Sub A Meeting I sometimes sub a client meeting, where we’d usually work together online for a walk/talk meeting where we can both use our mobiles, go out for a walk and talk through the same things that are coming and strategies that will be used. This benefits both parties and allows a good 45mins – 1 hours walk without it needing any extra time in your day. So, it could be a work meeting BUT equally it could be a met up with a friend and you can grab the same coffee from the coffee shop (as a takeaway) and have your catch up on foot. A great way to make this impactful is to have a weekly catch up so you’re both committing to that active time together once per week.
Do 5 A Day nah, I’m not talking fruit and veg here. I’m talking about stairs. If you live in a house with stairs then each day do a down and back 5 times (all at once, on top of your usual) trips. Won’t take you long at all but you’ll be surprised how it’ll get your heart pumping. If you don’t live in a house with stairs then you can do it when you’re out and about, perhaps at the park as part of one of your walks – be creative in how you could implement it.
Yeah, I could talk about doing exercises whilst the kettle boils, getting a standing desk, wedging in a HIIT workout into your lunch hour and other such things BUT I want these to be really easy things that you can implement into your day, without costing you time, without you having to overthink them or make them complicated and without them costing you any money.
Hope these ideas have got some flowing for you! AND if you have any little tips then please dive into the comments and share them…
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