It is easy to turn physical activity into an all-or-nothing” attitude. The Training Room physical therapy team gets it – you had a long day at work, you drove your kids all around town for their extracurricular activities, and on top of that, you still have to make dinner and prepare to do it all again in the morning. When it’s difficult to find a moment of rest, it can seem even more difficult to find time to exercise. By the time you get home from work, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to work out, on top of everything else you have to do. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can easily add into your daily lifestyle that can get you moving without having to take too much extra time out of your day!
1. Get up more often – by tricking yourself.
It is recommended that we all get up and move around every 30-60 minutes throughout the day, in order to stretch our bodies and initiate blood flow. But let’s be real – how many of us actually do that? We’re at work, sitting at our desks… and suddenly it’s three hours later and we’re still in the same spot. By tricking yourself into getting up more often, you can get those recommended stretches in throughout the day without even realizing it.
For example, you could keep a smaller water glass or coffee mug at your desk, so you have to get up more often in order to fill it. Or, you could avoid keeping some materials at your desk (such as a hole puncher or stapler) so you have to make a trip to the copy room every time you need to use one. We all try and make our lives more convenient by reducing the amount of time spent doing everyday tasks, but simply getting rid of some of those small “conveniences,” you can actually help yourself be more active. Plus, we all deserve those much-needed breaks throughout the day!
2. Use your lunch break to walk around.
Your lunch break is a great time to get in some physical activity. For example, instead of eating in the cafeteria every day, you could walk down the street to order food. If you enjoy bringing your food, you can find a park or other scenic location nearby to eat your lunch. Or, you can eat at your desk and use your entire lunch break to take a walk or go to the gym. Whatever you choose to do, your lunch break is the perfect time to add some exercise into your day.
3. Avoid the easiest route.
It may seem counterintuitive to take the longer, more difficult route, rather than simply taking the quickest route possible – but adding in a little extra time can add some much-needed physical activity into your day! Instead of taking the elevator, parking close to the entrance, or entering through the door closest to you, try adding some more steps into your route. Make a habit out of taking the stairs at work, parking at the back of the grocery store parking lot, or walking to the bathroom on the floor above yours, rather than the one down the hall. These small habits can account for a significant increase in physical activity in the long run!
4. Consider the standing desk.
If you work in an office, you spend a large amount of the day in a sedentary position. One of the best ways to get some physical activity is by investing in a standing desk – you get to burn calories simply by standing in place! While it may not seem like much, standing is significantly healthier than sitting.
You burn more calories by standing, and it can be incredibly helpful to your posture. Standing decreases the ability to slouch or hunch over, making it easier to maintain a proper posture throughout the day. It also helps in keeping blood sugar steady after a meal, and it encourages more movement overall. If you don’t like the idea of standing all day long (which, admittedly, can become a bit difficult) you can invest in an adjustable desk that allows you to stand when you want and sit back down when you get tired.
5. Don’t hide the equipment.
By simply keeping your workout equipment in sight around the house, it can help in motivating you to exercise. For example, instead of rolling up your yoga mat and storing it in the hall closet, leave it rolled out in front of the TV. Instead of keeping your hand weights in the garage, put them next to your coffee table. By keeping your equipment in plain sight, it’ll increase the probability of you using them. It’ll also be helpful if you make a habit out of working out around the house while doing your daily activities, such as watching TV, cooking dinner, or sitting at your computer.
6. Get those chores done.
Organizational experts believe that you can easily achieve a healthier and cleaner lifestyle simply by doing chores for 20-30 minutes a day – and it’s also a great way to get a small workout in. Taking out the trash, doing dishes, vacuuming, and doing laundry are all chores that require some physical activity. By taking time out of the day to do chores around the house, you’ll be able to get exercise AND do the tidying up that you’ve been putting off. Win/win!
7. Don’t put off your physical therapy sessions.
Physical therapy can help address any aches or pains you may be experiencing. Your physical therapist can also create a workout plan for you if you are having trouble getting started. Additionally, most physical therapy sessions are workouts in themselves, meaning that you’ll be getting physical activity by attending your treatments.
If you are looking for more tips on staying active in your everyday life, your physical therapy is a great resource in providing advice for adding more exercise into your daily habits. If chronic pain is an issue, your physical therapist can show you specific moves that streamline the physical challenges.
If you are looking to add more physical activity into your daily life, contact one of our three NJ offices or our PA office today. We can help you relieve any pain you may be feeling and get you started on a plan to increase your daily exercise. We are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and live your healthiest life!