Americans are busier than they’ve ever been before, BUT they are also spending a lot more time sitting. This means that while we have more obligations to our careers, communities, our children’s activities, etc., we’re doing the majority of these things while remaining relatively sedentary. So how do we stay active and maintain our obligations?
You can start with this list of creative ways to get moving:
- Switch “spring” cleaning to “bad weather” cleaning, and spread it out over time. Saving your spring cleaning for days when the weather is bad (no matter the season) and focusing on one room at a time will not only lead to a more thorough clean, but also provide you with a creative way to keep yourself moving.
- Dress differently. Constrictive clothing makes excess movements uncomfortable. So when wearing constrictive clothing we’re more likely to accomplish tasks in a way that requires the least amount of movement or activity. This might mean using the nearest restroom because of your high heels or not wanting to lift above your head because of your suit jacket. Try finding clothes that are both appropriate for your work environment and comfortable to wear. You’ll also likely notice a change in your attitude towards tasks that require physical movement (for the better).
- Use your work routine to increase movement. If you work in a large building and schedule a lot of meetings, ask the person you’re meeting with if they’d be willing to do a “walking” meeting instead. Walking helps get your creative juices flowing, so you may come up with ideas or solutions that you never would have thought of while sitting down. You can also try implementing small movements that add up when combined, like using the coffee/water station and restroom that are furthest away from your workspace, parking further away, walking around the building on your breaks, taking the long way to anywhere you walk to, and instead of having people come to you, go the them.
- Stand instead of sit. Have you heard the expression coined by Dr. James Levine, “Sitting is the new smoking?” Between televisions, gaming systems, computers, longer commutes to work, and the increase of sedentary jobs, Americans are sitting more than they ever have in the past. So whenever possible, try standing instead of sitting. Standing desks have become more common, so you could ask your employer if that’s an option, or make your own standing desk for your home office.
- Designate a specific activity to do before allowing yourself to do something sedentary. It’s okay to unwind and watch a little television at night, but try giving yourself a small challenge to do before rewarding yourself with your favorite TV shows. Set a rule that before you can watch any TV, you must do 20 jumping jacks and 10 squats.
In addition to these creative ways to increase your activity levels, we also encourage you to find time to exercise, even if it’s just a ten minute low-impact cardio workout each day. Ten minutes of exercise is still much better than none.