12 Ways to Be Less Sedentary
Okay. You've heard the bad news. Sitting is bad for you. But that doesn't mean you have to quit your desk job or go out and cancel your Netflix subscription to counteract all that binge-watching. There are many simple ways to be less sedentary, and they don't even have to include special gear or a gym membership or require a lot of extra time. Here are 12 ways to get a move-on without really even trying.
- Walk off your negative emotions.
Any time you get angry, frustrated, irritated, or anxious, get up and walk it off. Pace around, do some jumping jacks, strike a couple of yoga poses. Whatever you do, don't hunch up and brood, which does all kinds of bad things to your heart and blood pressure. Moving does just the opposite. Double bonus: Moving around will help you calm down faster and find a more rational mental state.
- Dance with the Laundry.
Dance with the laundry, boogie with the broom. If you're used to sitting down while folding the clothes or your arm is the only thing that moves when you dust, put on a danceable playlist, and shake your booty. Putting a little extra motion into everyday movements not only utilizes more muscle groups, but it gets to be pretty fun, too.
- Take the Stairs.
Over the course of a week you can effectively add hundreds of steps by taking the stairs, and it's often faster than taking the elevator. Just a couple of flights a day add up, so bypass the elevator next time you're headed skyward.
- Make More Trips.
If you tend to burden yourself with grocery bags to the point where you can barely walk just so that you only have to make one trip inside, let go of your fear, and embrace making two or three trips. You'll be less likely to drop your bags, and you'll get in more steps. Bonus: Do curls with the bags on your way in.
- Get Rid of Garden Gadgets.
If you're weeding, raking, and tilling by hand, you're using way more muscles and burning far more calories than if you're using an electric gadget. Convenience comes with a price, and in this case the cost is the physical benefit of gardening.
- Sell the Snowblower.
Shoveling the snow is great exercise, although you should always exercise caution and take it slow. Your arms, legs, core, and lungs all activate with every scoop. Just stay hydrated, stay aware of your body, and stop if you hurt anywhere.
- Rescue a Dog.
Dogs are adorable little furballs that need a lot of exercise and poo breaks. A dog is a great exercise buddy who won't let you slack. Just make sure you get a dog whose exercise level fits your lifestyle, or you'll find your slippers in shreds more than once.
- Walk While Brushing.
Instead of wasting time at the sink looking at those puffy eyes caused by your new puppy barking all night, pace about your house while you brush your teeth. That's almost an extra half hour of movement over the course of a week if you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes.
- Window Shop with a Friend.
Instead of making plans with a friend to sit at the coffee shop, get it to go, and go window shopping instead. You get to socialize, drink that cup of Joe, and get your booty moving all at the same time. You're far less likely to impulse buy if you stay outside while browsing.
- Park All the Way Over There.
It may feel strange to walk all the way across the parking lot when there's a spot right out front, but those extra hundred steps or more each time you do it can really add up.
- Do Some Yoga.
Yoga is simple, it feels great, and you don't need one lick of equipment to do it up right. If you don't know any yoga poses or even where to start, you can find a wealth of free videos on YouTube ranging from super beginner level to body-contortionist expert. Don't beat yourself up if you don't think you're doing it right or if you can only do half the video at first. Yoga is called a "practice" for a reason. The important thing is that you're moving your body.
- Use Common Sense.
If you're sitting and watching tv, get up and move during the commercials. If you're bingeing on Netflix and there are no commercials, get up and move every half hour or so. Maybe spend just five minutes cleaning something you tend ignore, like the baseboards or the pendant lamps. Every day presents a multitude of opportunities to move a little more — you just have to take advantage of them.
So, make some goals for moving more each day, each week. Stay focused on shaking a leg, and soon you'll be moving more out of habit, and it'll feel great.