It is certainly no secret that, as a society, we are less active than generation before us. Whether the convenience afforded us by modern technology, lower emphasis on physical activity or just inherent laziness is to blame, this phenomenon is legit. The approximate estimate of United States citizens approaching an obesity rate of nearly 40% portrays but a snapshot of this issue.
In this discussion, we will omit the usual recommendations regarding increased physical activity such as a consistent exercise routine, jogging, etc., and instead describe small tweaks that can be implemented into even the busiest of schedules. Although these tips do not fully replace the benefits of a structured exercise program, they are certainly more advantageous than neglecting movement altogether!
The Old-School Commute
Throughout the course of a normal day, getting yourself from point A to point B is quite the recurring theme. Commuting to and from work, grabbing lunch, even dropping of paperwork across the building are all opportunities to increase your movement patterns.
Because these activities have become so ingrained into the monotony of your workday, you are very likely failing to even consider the actual method of transportation being used. Since you are reading this, hopefully this fact has you contemplating your own personal day-to-day routine.
Adding more movement in these situations is extremely simple in principle, however, it will require you to opt out of the “easy” way of doing things. If your commute to work is within reasonable distance, consider walking or even riding a bicycle to the jobsite. Instead of hopping in your car to pick up that sandwich 2 blocks down the road, travel by foot.
As pleasant as the elevator may be, consider the physical benefits of using the staircase you’ve probably never tried out. Although minimal, these little alterations in your day start to compound, the net result being a profound increase in overall movement!
Stand Up More
Ranking right up there at the top of the list with obesity, poor posture is running rampant due in part to the sedentary lifestyle. Most of us spend an enormous portion of the day sitting down. Computer work, car rides and couch time are staples in almost everyone’s day.
Not only are we sitting far too often, we are sitting really poorly! A quick look at the stooped shoulders, rounded neck and lower back found in the average individual tells the story. The most optimal way to mitigate this issue is to do more things from the standing position. You may have seen the standing desks craze sweep through your workplace, and although this is a viable option, standing more can be as simple as moving your work station to a higher surface from time to time.
I am in no way suggesting you struggle through an 8-hour workday in this manner; instead, try devoting a few 30-minute portions of the day to standing up while you work. Once again, small daily changes yield compound interest in terms of how active you are.
Let Those Commercials Play
I think we can all agree that commercials are the worst. To mitigate these little annoyances, many of us utilize streaming services and DVR options to either skip or fast-forward right through them. What if I told you, however, that even commercials could be your friend in terms of moving your body more?
Instead of avoiding commercials like the plague, use these 2-3-minute time periods to move around! Simple habits like a quick stretching routine, jumping jacks or push-ups are fantastic ways to increase your net physical activity.
You may find that a little added movement here and there makes those perpetual insurance commercials slightly more tolerable.