to Move More
in Everyday Life
We like to move it move it…January 2, 2023
We like to move it move it…January 2, 2023
You get it, we get it ─ movement is a super vital aspect of health and our sedentary lifestyles really aren’t doing us any favours in this department. Research shows that only about 1 in 5 adults hit their daily recommended exercise quota, and this lack of exercise is linked to a range of chronic health conditions.
But with an already packed schedule, it can feel overwhelming to attempt to carve out extra time for a workout. So we’ve gathered up some ideas for subtle ways to add extra oomph into your ordinary activities and keep your body moving throughout the day. Although it might not seem like much, just a few extra minutes of movement here and there can really add up!
A Word about Movement
Aside from dedicated gym sessions, we consume most of our daily energy through something called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (or NEAT for short). This basically refers to all those seemingly trivial physical activities that actually substantially increase your metabolic rate and calorie expenditure (even when you’re not actively exercising). This includes things like cleaning, shopping, and even fidgeting. Simply put ─ more NEAT means less risk of those health conditions associated with lack of movement and sedentary behavior.
11 Ways to Incorporate More NEAT Into Your Life
- Take the Stairs
We start off with an oldie but goodie: it may seem a little boring but the stair swap is a top tip for good reason. This simple habit change elevates your heart rate, tones your legs, and improves strength and balance.
- Walking Meetings
Especially now that many of us are working from home and our meetings are virtual, if you don’t need to be on your screen, try grabbing your headphones and heading out for an invigorating power walk during one of your daily calls. And even if you are working in the office, you can try scheduling some of your meetings on the go. Exercise can also boost creativity and increase blood flow to the brain, so this tip is especially helpful for chats that require some mental clarity.
- Sit on an Exercise Ball
Swap out the traditional office chair for a stability ball and you may be surprised. The manner you sit on the ball can help reduce back pain and improve your posture, while increasing mobility in the pelvis, hips, and spine. It can also activate your core stabilizers for a slight burn throughout the day.
- Work out While Watching TV
Or scrolling on your phone, or getting lost in a Youtube loop. Whatever your preferred form of passive visual consumption may be, you can transform some of that screen time into movement time. Keep your exercise equipment close at hand or simply try some stretches to soften the tension in your body during your favourite show.
- Transform Your Commute
If at all possible, consider changing up the way you get around. Instead of driving or taking the subway, what about walking, cycling or rollerblading? It’s an easy way to weave more movement into your daily habit.
- Plan Get-Togethers Around Being Active
Rather than going out for a drink when you catch up with your friends, try scheduling something a little more active. Go to a museum or park, play frisbee, go bowling, play golf, or start a walking club.
- Turn Chores into Dance Parties
Although it may sound a little cheesy, dancing is a wonderful way to get your heart pumping, blood flowing, release stress and elevate your mood. Turn on your favourite tunes next time you have a mundane household task to complete and shake it out!
- Take Date Night Outdoors
Rather than the typical dinner and a movie (or Netflix and Chill) try scheduling a more active date. Go hiking, play a sport, do a workout together, take a walking tour or have a scavenger hunt ─ you can be creative and bond while you’re moving.
- Try Temptation Bundling
Do you have a favourite guilty pleasure podcast or audio book? Or maybe some other habit you love to indulge in? Try engaging in these activities only when you’re moving or exercising and see if you can link the pleasure of this with making time to move in your mind.
- Maximize your Miniscule Movements
When you drive, park in the spot furthest away. During bathroom breaks at work visit the restroom which is furthest away from your desk. If you have to send a memo to a colleague perhaps get up and tell them directly rather than sending it virtually. All these little extra steps can add up!
- Take up an Active Hobby
Incorporating more movement into your life definitely does not need to be boring or cliche. Maybe you’re feeling like you want to learn a new skill or hobby. Try choosing something active that boosts your NEAT without it becoming a chore. Rock climbing, nature photography, gardening… there’s a lot out there.