For many of us, finding time to squeeze in a weekly workout can feel impossible - so the idea of daily exercise may be too much to fathom. But daily movement doesn’t have to be hard and we don’t need to overthink it.
Quick breaks and small habit shifts could be all you need to start reaping the many short and long-term benefits of exercise.
In the short term, exercise moves glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells, so moderate exercise after eating can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Exercise makes your cells more sensitive to insulin and improves the movement of sugar into cells. In the long term, exercise increases your ability to turn glucose into energy, improving overall metabolic health.
“In addition to the physical benefits, exercise can help reduce stress and improve mood by releasing endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones. Even something as simple as a short walk can be beneficial for reducing stress, improving mood and shifting lifestyle habits,” shared Dr. McMillen, Concierge Doctor with LifeScape.
So, let’s get moving with these ten simple ideas!
1. Morning Stretches
Daily movement can begin when you first wake up! Start your day with a few simple stretches to wake up your body and improve flexibility. Gentle movements can help improve blood circulation, kickstart your metabolism, and set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
2. Standing & Walking Breaks
Utilize your break time. Whether you're working from home or in an office, we recommend taking short walking breaks throughout the day. Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
This helps prevent stiffness and muscle tension, and gives your mind a breather, leading to improved focus and productivity.
3. Lunchtime Activity
Instead of eating lunch at your desk, consider taking a walk outside. Find a nearby park, a trail, or simply stroll around your neighborhood. Fresh air and exposure to nature can invigorate your senses, reduce stress, and provide a mental reset during a busy day.
4. Dance Breaks
Incorporate fun into your routine with spontaneous dance breaks. Put on your favorite music and groove to the rhythm. Dancing not only burns calories but also uplifts your mood, releasing endorphins that make you feel happier and more energetic.
5. Stair Climbing
When in doubt, take the stairs! If you have access to stairs, take advantage of them. Instead of using the elevator, opt for the stairs whenever possible. Climbing stairs engages various muscle groups and provides an effective cardiovascular workout in a short amount of time.
6. Standing Meetings & Standing Desks
For virtual meetings or phone calls, consider standing up or walking around instead of sitting. This adds movement to your day and keeps you more engaged and attentive during discussions.
If you work at a desk all day, consider switching to a standing desk to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
7. Stretch Breaks
Relieve tension by incorporating short stretching sessions into your routine, especially if you have a sedentary job. Focus on areas that tend to get tense, like your neck, shoulders, and lower back.
Stretching improves flexibility and reduces the risk of discomfort caused by prolonged sitting.
8. Evening Strolls
After dinner, take a leisurely walk to unwind and reflect on your day. This practice not only aids digestion but also promotes relaxation and mental clarity. Bring a family member, friend, or even your furry companion along for some quality time together.
9. Active Hobbies
Combine your passions with movement! We suggest exploring hobbies that involve movement, such as gardening, playing a sport, or practicing yoga. These activities make exercise feel less like a chore and more like an enjoyable part of your day.
10. Sneak in Physical Activity
While watching TV or streaming content, consider sneaking in some physical activity. Perform simple exercises like leg lifts, squats, or planks during commercial breaks. This is an efficient way to incorporate movement without compromising the enjoyment of your favorite programs and shows.
The key is to find activities you love that involve moving your body - and then consistently do them, as often as you can. Get creative, finding opportunities that align with your lifestyle and moving as much as you can throughout the day. These small shifts in behaviors can add up to big changes over time.
Empower Yourself Through Fitness With Lifescape
Partner with Jodi Stokes, Lifescape’s Fitness Expert, to expand beyond your daily routine and incorporate new and exciting ways to move your body. With years of success and experience, Jodi analyzes your body and lifestyle to create a fitness plan that will help you reach your goals.
Request a consultation to get started.