38 WAYS TO ADD ACTIVITY YOU YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU ARE BUSY
You have heard it all before but I’m going to say it again because it is so important!
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is vital!
In the short term, raising your heart rate for just 10 minutes can release endorphins and boost your mood instantly. In the long term, increasing your physical activity can improve your sleep and reduce your risk of developing depression, dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and some cancers (find out more here).
The best way to use this list is to go through it and pick a couple of tips per week and incorporate them into your routine. So here we go!
1.Combine your to do list with being more active
This could mean running to the post box or cycling to the shops to pick up some garlic. It will make you feel great- for the exercise, for getting things done and for being so efficient!
2.Take the stairs
We all know this one but its an easy one that doesn’t take anymore time than waiting for the lift (caveat- unless you are at the Eiffel Tower!).
3.If you are travelling less than a mile then choose to walk instead of driving or catching the bus
You won’t get sweaty from the walk but it will give you a nice healthy glow for when you get there. Listen to a podcast or Spotify, my favourite person to listen to at the moment for a relaxing walk is Snatam Kaur- she is amazing!
4.Where you are travelling more than a mile, consider cycling
I know this is controversial and some people say they don’t feel safe but depending on where you live (I can vouch for London), there are cycle routes and quietways which link quiet roads together so you can travel around London without travelling on smelly polluted roads (to find out more about London’s quietways, click here).
5.If you forget something upstairs, see it as an opportunity to be more active and not as a drag
Positive framing changes your outlook and helps you see the opportunity from a situation that could otherwise be seen as annoying.
6.Workout while watching tv
This is an easy one to do, stand up and just do it! Click here for a workout with no stopwatch and no equipment. If you can’t bring yourself to do this then…
7.Stretch while watching tv
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, calms the mind and heals and prevents those aches and pains (think back pain!). Click here to go to a beginner’s full body stretch routine. Link to body stretch routine.
8.Do some star jumps while you are boiling the kettle
Pretty self explanatory!
9.Plan and prep
Schedule an activity in your diary and have everything ready so when you get up in the morning for a morning run everything is ready for you without having to think about it. Removing those small barriers will reduce the risk of talking yourself out of it!
10.However… if the plan isn’t working, change it!
Changing a plan, doesn’t necessarily mean you have failed, the plan just isn’t working. If you were given some directions and they turned out to be wrong, you wouldn’t blindly continue following them, you would find a new route. Perhaps you had planned to go to the gym 2 times a week but you don’t have the blocks of time so you end up not going, changing to short 15 minute workouts, 5 times a week will achieve more because you will actually stick to it.
11.Work out why you want to workout
Rather than focusing on a vague or way off goal and relying on willpower, focus on the immediate positive feelings which will motivate you to prioritise the workout. This could be to give you energy or to reduce stress levels.
12.Doing your household chores with conviction
Pick up the pace and it will get your heart pumping which counts towards you 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week as recommended by the NHS.
13.Go for a walk, on your own with the dog, or with family or friends
This is a funny one, I am perfectly happy going for a run on my own or a walk with my family, but until recently I had never been for a walk on my own for the sole purpose of giving myself headspace (ie without walking somewhere to do something) because I thought it was strange. But at the moment I am going for a walk at lunchtime nearly everyday and I am loving it!
14.Jump on a trampoline
Perhaps you know someone who owns a trampoline (to give you some context, I am writing this at my mum’s house and looking out on to the trampoline in the garden so its not quite as random as it may appear!), otherwise trampoline or gymnastics clubs often have an adults class.
15.Try a new sport or exercise class
Ever fancied flying through the air on the trapeze or giving pole dancing a spin? This is your opportunity!
16.Add a short exercise routine that takes 15 minutes to your day
However busy you are, you can always squeeze this in (even if it means going to bed 15 minutes later or getting up 15 minutes earlier). Check out The Plan of Action if you would like personalised workouts.
17.Dust off your old roller blades or frisbee and play in the park
Any game that is fun to play and you forget you are exercising is a winner to me!
18.Make the most of your lunchbreak and do a workout out in the park (or go to the gym)
It is the perfect way to break up your day and keep your productivity levels high in the afternoon. Bonus points for encouraging a colleague to join you.
19.Turn up your favourite song and have a dance in your bedroom
What better way to make your self feel better, be it before a night out or at the end of a long day.
20.Use a basket
Rather than a trolley when doing a food shop. Not only will you be working your muscles but I find buy less when I’m using a basket so you will save money too!
I am a waterbaby, there is nothing better for me than playing in water (maybe a pool of houmous??)
22.Rather then meeting friends in a pub, meet somewhere else and then walk to your final destination.
Or suggest a walk and a picnic instead of going for a meal. Not only will this increase your physical activity but you are also more likely to enjoy it compared to going to the gym or working out by yourself. Plus you will boost your vitamin d levels and have more control over what you are eating.
23.Do some weeding or gardening
Sort of an extension from point number one but it needs to be done at some point! I find doing it in short bursts throughout the week is the best way.
24.Park on the opposite side of the car park
This is a nice one because it means after spending time in the car and before getting back in the car, at the very least you will have a short walk to stretch your legs.
25.Walk around while on the phone
Pretty self explanatory and very easy to do.
26.Spend more time with your significant other
Sex increases your heart rate, makes you feel more connected and decreases stress levels- win win win!
27.Walk up escalators
Just because the escalator will take you there, it doesn’t mean you should just mindlessly stand still! For bonus points, walk up the stairs next to the escalator.
28.Sign up to a challenge
Be it a parkrun, 10k, a tough mudder or a marathon. It will give you some motivation and focus.
Minimal equipment required and can get your heart beating fast in 3 minutes, what is not to love??
30.Have a picnic in the park and play games
40:40, stuck in the mud, it, the possibilities are endless.
31.Reconsider your diet
Is it working for you? I have always been a big believer of ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ but a year ago I realised, for me personally I feel much better if I don’t have breakfast then have my first meal at lunch. Could a small change make you feel much better? (If you would like some help with this, book in for a free Call to Action here.
32.Do ankle raises while brushing your teeth
Stand up tall, feet together and squeeze your core, then slowly raise up on to your toes and lower back down and repeat.
33.Set an alarm
Set an alarm for every hour that you are at work and find an excuse to get up and move around- get a glass of water, make a cup of tea or go to the toilet.
34.Do curls with your shopping bags
As you walk the shopping in from the car to the kitchen.
35.Go wild swimming
This could be in a natural pool, in the sea or in a lake in the centre of London!
36.Use a fitness tracker
Fitbit, garmin, apple watch- whatever you use to track your activity, you can set yourself challenges seeing if you can be more active than the previous day for a week, or make sure you do your 10k steps a day for a month.
37.Use a calendar to track days that you do at least 15 minutes activity
If you are not consciously do it, you may be surprised at how many days you are not hitting this target. Once you are hitting it everyday, increase the time by 5 minutes.
38.Be kind to yourself
Ultimately, you need to work out what your ideal amount of physical activity is and then figure out your ‘Plan of Action’. For an aspiring Olympian, their ideal may be going to the gym 6 times a week but for someone looking to be healthy and active, their ideal may not involve the gym at all and that is ok!
That is all I have for now but if you can think of others please send them to me and I will add them to the list.
Have a great day!
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