A sedentary lifestyle is associated with several chronic health conditions. But increasing your physical activity can help reduce your risk of having certain diseases. If you’re living with one or more chronic conditions, regular exercise can help you manage your health well. An active lifestyle helps improve your flexibility and balance, reducing your risk of injuries. If that’s not enough, exercise can also help improve your mental health, control your weight, and improve your sleep quality.
While intense workouts can be beneficial and help you reach your health goals, they can also cause added stress on your body. You don’t have to spend long hours doing strenuous activities. You can establish a healthy lifestyle that includes sustainable exercise trends. Once you incorporate it into your daily routine, it’s easier to keep it going. Here are five clever ways to exercise without going to the gym.
If you live or work in a building with an elevator, you can take advantage of the opportunity to get a free workout. Walking up and down stairs throughout the day is a great way to get your heart pumping, especially if you sit for most of the day. You might be working from home or have an office job that doesn’t allow you to move as much during the day.
But you can use your resources wisely to improve your health. Try to avoid taking the elevator and use the stairs. If you work in an office building with multiple floors, try taking the stairs to a different floor each time you need to use the restroom. You don’t have to get your exercise in all at one time. Small increments of physical activity throughout the day are as effective as twenty minutes on the treadmill.
Depending on your fitness level, you may need to start small. You can take the stairs once a day and use the elevator at other times. But the goal is to eventually avoid the elevator completely, and always opt to take the stairs.
Park Far and Walk Fast
You’ve probably heard people say that you can be more active by parking far away when running errands or going to work. It’s a great way to increase the number of steps you take per day. Any kind of physical activity is better than not doing anything at all. You might be surprised how much physical activity you can get in by simply parking as far away as possible from the entrance.
Increasing your pace when you walk to and from the car will also give you an advantage and help you increase your heart rate. Walking is one of the best ways to exercise because it’s light on your joints, decreases stress, and you can do it indoors or outdoors. It’s also free, as opposed gym membership fees that may increase annually.
Most Americans walk an average of almost two miles per day, which is about 4,000 steps. Tracking your daily step count can help you determine your fitness level. You can purchase a fitness watch, if you don’t have one already, and start keeping track of your steps to see where you are. Gradually increase your daily step count by choosing the “worst” parking space everywhere you go. The additional steps you take will add up to some serious exercise time.
Adopt a Dog
Another way to increase physical activity is by getting a dog. Most dogs need to be walked several times a day. Dogs are fun-loving animals, and taking care of them can be taxing. But being a dog owner can also be very rewarding in many ways. One of these rewards allows you to be more active without the monotony of exercise machines at the gym.
Aside from all that walking, you can also get a lot of exercise from playing with your dog. You can burn a lot of calories by playing fetch or teaching your dog new tricks. You can look for puppies for sale and choose a high-energy breed that will keep you on your feet. Most people with dogs walk an average of twenty minutes more each day than those without a dog. That’s an extra 140 minutes per week!
Clean With Music
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to work up a sweat for exercise to be effective. While sweating is good, you can still benefit from activities that don’t cause you to sweat. You’re still burning calories. Daily chores like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, and washing your car can burn more calories than you think. You can increase your intensity while cleaning by playing some upbeat music that will keep you moving.
Start a Garden
There’s no place like home, especially when your home promotes healthy living. Planting a garden can check all the boxes on the health checklist. You can improve your diet and get more exercise by growing fresh fruit and vegetables. Gardening involves lifting, pulling, digging, and raking. These are activities that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, giving you the benefit of a full-body workout at the gym.
You can maximize the benefits of performing these tasks by committing to tending the garden daily and increasing movements like bending and squatting. But be mindful of your form when lifting and squatting to avoid straining your muscles.
A sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health, and most sources agree that any physical activity, despite the level of intensity, is better than sitting. You might not have time to commit to five or six days a week at the gym, but there are several ways you can be more active. You should include activities that are fun and sustainable so they become a part of your lifestyle, not a dreaded task.
Some clever ways to increase physical activity are taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking far away from buildings, and cleaning your house while listening to music. You can also try planting a garden or getting a puppy to stay active and improve your health.