Increase Your Physical Activity The Easy Way … Think Small!
Presented as a service to our local communities from Bristol Total Fitness personal trainer Julie Fostin.
Think small. Get yourself in the frame of mind that every little step counts, and you’ll soon learn that it’s easier than you think to increase your daily activity.
We’ve all heard it repeatedly; regular physical activity is good for us. And the reality is that most of us don’t get enough exercise. It’s well documented that physical activity is one of the most important lifestyle behaviors that you can do to prevent a range of chronic diseases (just do a search on google and you’ll find a year’s worth of legitimate material to support that statement).
One of the biggest reasons it’s easy to add “accidental; exercise” to your day – you don’t have to set aside, or schedule, large chunks of time. You’re just being purposeful about what you’re already doing.
Benefits of Accidental Exercise:
- Help burn energy/calories
- Keeps you mobile (especially important as we age)
- Get you to try new things
- Get you doing more of the activities you may already love doing
- Keeps you social and connected
List of Incidental Exercises:
Simple easy ways to start moving or add to your regular exercise routine whether you’re at home, work, running errands or going out to dinner.
- The lawn care/gardening workout: It’s fall – your yard will also benefit from this. All that pulling, digging, reaching, twisting, and bending of gardening, or raking, amounts to light aerobic exercise, which improves heart and lung health, helps prevent obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. Plus, you get a great daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Walk your dogs (or help a neighbor and offer to walk theirs) – in addition to getting steps in you’ll be around pets which are known to lower blood pressure.
- Brushing your teeth: Do mini squats while brushing your teeth. They’ll strengthen your legs which will help with walking, endurance, and rising up from a seated position.
- Shopping/Dining: Park in the farthest spot away from the store or restaurant or walk a couple of extra laps around the grocery store or shopping center.
- Take the stairs. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator – but if you must, walk up the escalator don’t just stand there. Climbing stairs can improve the amount of "good cholesterol" in the blood. Stair climbing increases leg strength and may be an important priority in reducing the risk of injury.
- Cleaning: If you love to clean your house you are going to love this. If you don’t this might change your mind. You can increase the number of calories that you burn just by cleaning your house. What? Yes, sitting on the couch and watching television burns about 1 calorie per minute in a person who weighs 150 pounds. Most cleaning activities burn three to four times that.
- Watching TV: Yup. Believe it or not you can add movement to this sedentary activity. Place the remote across the room and every time you want to change the channel, you’ll have to get up out of your chair and walk. (full disclosure – this would not work in my house).
- Place your bag/keys/phone at the top of the stairs – you’ll be forced to climb up and down the stairs to get them.
- At work: get up out of your chair every half hour and take a stroll around the office. Every time you sit down, get up and do it again (like a mini squat).
Remember, think small and you’ll be on your way to accidentally exercising your way to health & wellness.
They say health is wealth and at Bristol Total Fitness we agree. With our strong values about healthy living, we want everyone to have an opportunity to be part of our community and live their best life at any age.
Get a Free Pass to Try Out Bristol Total Fitness:
Full use of club facilities. Unlimited Group Exercise Classes: Offer is for local residents only.