13 everyday ways to move more
If you’re thinking about getting more active, you may wonder if you’ll need to start going to the gym, buy expensive at-home exercise equipment, or squeeze another to-do item into your already-packed schedule. But the truth is, there are plenty of ways to turn everyday activities - from gardening to walking your dog - into opportunities to help reach your fitness goals. (That said, if you want to join a gym or stream an obé workout in the WW app, by all means, go for it!)
Check out these expert-approved ideas to transform the things you already do every day into chances to get moving.
Get off the sofa during commercials
Okay, so you've had a long day at work, cooked dinner, and now you're ready to watch your favourite TV show. Great! Each break (or during closing credits while streaming), try doing a set of lunges, squats, sit-ups, arm circles, or a sit-to-stand routine until your show returns.
Take an extra trip when carrying things back and forth
We all know the feeling of accomplishment when you haul all your shopping bags inside in one go, or lug everyone’s dirty clothes to the washing machine in a single overstuffed basket. While there’s no denying that you could continue doing so, next time, try making multiple trips in the interest of boosting your daily step count.
Do a loop while you listen
Are you a podcast fan? Instead of listening on the couch or saving them for your commute, schedule a walk or jog around the block whenever a new episode drops. The secret here: temptation bundling. Pairing an activity you don’t enjoy as much (say, long walks or running) with something you do enjoy (like your favourite true crime podcast), can help motivate you to do the less-loved activity more, according to Christi Smith, MS, certified strength & conditioning specialist and associate manager of science translation at WW.
Brush and squeeze
Work on your dental and physical health at the same time. Use the two minutes that you spend brushing your teeth to squeeze your glute muscles. Hold for one count and repeat. You can also switch things up with wall sits or squats.
Squat and sort
Treat a cluttered floor or messy playroom as a chance to do some leg and butt work. Bend your knees when putting away clothes, shoes, toys, and everything else that isn't where it should be.
Grow your own garden
Fresh veggies and herbs and a full-body workout? Sign us up. While it may not seem like the most intensive activity, tasks like raking, digging, and weeding can work a range of muscle groups. If you don’t have a garden, clear a bit of outdoor space on your patio or windowsill, or look for allotments in your area.
On the go
Pick a further parking spot
There’s nothing like the thrill of finding a spot right in front of your destination, but in this case, leave it for someone else. Parking as far away as you (and any companions) comfortably can is a great way to add extra steps to your day, Smith says.
Move your own body during football practice
If your kids play sports, you’ve likely spent hours sitting on the sidelines while they practice. Next time, walk around the field or parking lot. It might seem simple, but walking is one of the most beneficial forms of low impact exercise.
Stick with the stairs
It’s a classic but effective, piece of advice: whenever you can, take the stairs. You can also start small by walking up or down the escalator as it moves.
At the (home) office
Sneak in an under-the-desk workout
To strengthen calf and ab muscles (and to help with your posture) sit up straight and squeeze in your stomach as you lift up on your toes to tighten your calves. Work the calf muscles further and shape up your ankles by stretching your leg and pointing your toes forward and backward 20 times, then circle your feet and ankles 20 times on each foot.
Schedule a moving meeting
Take stock of your upcoming calendar invites and see if you can take any meetings on the go. (Stash a pair of trainers under your desk or in your car for those spontaneous moments.) If you work from home, call or Zoom in from your mobile while walking around your local area.
Switch off your camera to stretch
Some days you might not be able to take a walking meeting or do laps around the block and that’s OK, Smith says. If you can’t leave your desk, consider which meetings you can keep your camera off for, and get some desk stretches in while you listen.
Find excuses to stand
Some ideas: take phone calls standing up, keep a small glass of water on your desk so you need to get up to refill it, or set an alarm to remind you to get on your feet once an hour.