Face it. We live moderately sedentary lifestyles in this day and age. Millions of Americans are jeopardizing their health by spending too much time sitting and not enough time moving around and exercising. Did you know that 80 percent of the U.S. population falls short of the Physical Activity Guidelines recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services? It’s the sad truth. You may not find that information shocking, especially if you’re one of those 80 percent. What may surprise you, however, is how quickly and easily you can increase your daily activity level. There are numerous simple ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine.
Here are seven simple tips from our physical therapist for adding some much-needed additional exercise to your life.
1. Walk instead of driving.
Even for a quick trip to the mailbox or the corner store, many people automatically get into their cars. It’s not that they don’t want to walk; it’s that they don’t realize how close they are to their destination.
What if you spent a few extra minutes walking instead of driving each day? Walking increases circulation exercises your legs and feet, helps to shed excess pounds, keeps your joints limber, and relieves stress.
2. Work out while you’re watching a movie.
There’s nothing wrong with spending some time watching your favorite television shows or movies. We’ve all been guilty of binge-watching! However, you are not required to spend all of those hours sprawled on your couch, motionless.
You can use this time to do a quick workout. Consider investing in a stationary bike or treadmill to use while catching up on your favorite shows. You’ll have just as much fun, but instead of sleeping in, you’ll be working out!
3. Give a new sport a chance.
It doesn’t have to be a chore to get that extra activity; it could just as easily take the form of new fun. Do you like to participate in sports? Have you ever considered playing tennis, golf, surfing, swimming, running, or a team sport like softball or soccer?
These sports provide a variety of physical benefits while also getting you up and moving. Inquire with your family and friends about forming teams to play a few games with on weekends and/or after work and school during the week.
4. Break out your bike.
How many of us have bikes in our garages that we never use? If that trip to the corner store takes too much time on foot, maybe it’s time you remembered how to ride your bike!
Bicycling exercises different muscles than walking, making it a valuable complement to that discipline when you need to go a little farther and a little faster. It also provides you with a significant cardio workout.
5. Join a yoga class.
Yoga isn’t just for spiritual gurus and meditative experts. Yoga relieves stress, stretches muscles, increases range of motion, and aids in breathing control, all of which are beneficial to the body and mind. Yoga classes provide both structured learning and a supportive social environment. Running or jumping around at a fast pace isn’t always the best way to stay in shape, so give something new a try!
6. Get a standing desk for work.
Standing desks have become all the rage in workplaces, and for good reason!
Standing at your desk instead of sitting can help prevent a variety of health concerns, including unwanted weight gain. It can also help to regulate blood sugar levels after meals, relieve back pain, improve your mood and energy level, lower your risk of heart disease, and extend your life. You may even find that standing up allows you to get more work done while also improving your posture.
7. Take your dog for a stroll!
Dogs are amazing pets to have. They’re good company, and a great way to have an excuse to go outside on walks more often.
Have you ever marveled at the sheer energy and endurance displayed by your dog? Dogs love to walk, run, play catch and explore. Join in these activities, and you’ll find that your dog gives you one heck of a workout!
Ever considered physical therapy?
You might be looking at these tips and thinking “These are all great, but I’m in so much pain all the time. I’d love to do them, but I just can’t.”
Physical therapy could get you back in shape to get into better shape. Ask our physical therapist for a one-to-one consultation so that you can begin taking full advantage of these tips and many more to get your health