Kids, spouses, Reddit, video games, and sleep; they all get in the way of us staying active. We struggle to keep a balance across all of our priorities, and often the first thing to fall off the list is exercise and activity. Even if you try to make it a priority for you every day, sometimes it can add even more stress to your routine. That’s when you look for easy ways out like, “I need a rest day to clear my mind” or “its okay, I’ll get it tomorrow.” These thoughts compound and you wind up not getting into the gym or going outside at all. The CDC states that approximately 80 percent of Americans don’t get enough exercise and activity. Here are the five ways you can work yourself into the 20 percent who do.
1. Walk and Talk
We spend a ton of time on our phones. So much time that we could knock out a significant amount of mileage if we walked and talked on our phones. If you have to take a phone call that you may be 15 minutes or longer, just take the call outside and walk around the block.
You can also hold walking meetings. Though the Cycleplex conference bikes of Google may take the active meeting a little too far, but the theory is sound. Get to walking while having meetings and you not only have additional things to talk about, but you stay active while getting work done.
2. Bike Places
You may live and work in an urban area where it is super easy to bike, and this way to get active makes complete sense. Not only can you bike the mile from home to work and back no problem, but you can choose how hard you push it wherever you go. Also, it’s probably faster than driving around, especially in the larger cities. However, many folks who commute to work or live and work in the suburbs may see this as a little too far to go for activity. For those of you who are a little too far to feel inspired to bike, bring it to the office or your workspace one day. Then, just hop on your bike and get your legs pumping to turn your hour-long lunch break into an opportunity to get active on your way to the nearest Subway (or any other lunch spot that serves healthier options).
3. Stretches and Body-Weight Exercises
This one is always a bit weird because it doesn’t feel as though you are getting that much activity in. However, stretching and doing something as simple as lunges can revitalize the body and your joints to keep your body prepared for when you take to exercising harder. Forbes also states that it can increase your work performance and focus at your desk. If you haven’t gotten up in a while, now’s a prime opportunity to stop now and do 10 air squats.
4. Clean Vigorously
You do spend a lot of time at home, and for many of us, cleaning can be a hassle. However, if you clean with more emphasis on your body and put greater effort into the simple motions, you will be shocked to find how much good dragging your vacuum across the floor can do for your activity levels.
Everyday Health states you can burn over 100 calories in 30 minutes of vigorous cleaning, so clench those abs while sweeping, scrub like the dickens, and get active while checking chores off your list.
5. Compete with Friends
Competition is always a good way to challenge yourself and how you exercise. Fitbit walking competitions have gotten all the attention as of late and are an excellent way to stay on your feet and moving. There are many variations of this you could do including air squat competitions, push-ups, sit-ups, and anything else that you can easily track. In this way, you and your friends or coworkers can more easily set goals for yourself and encourage others throughout your day, at home, and at work.
If you are looking for folks to join you, ask around the office or in circles of friends to see who is already doing it and in no time, you will find others looking for ways to get active. Encourage any, or all of these five easy ways to stay active and you will surely work your way out of the sedentary 80 percent and into the active 20 percent of Americans.
When you are ready for the next step in your active journey, don’t forget to download the Kazi App, for a whole suite of group exercise and activities to keep you moving!
(Photo cred: Forward Thinking)