Increasing Daily Activity
By Audrey Turner, EP
It may not always be easy to go to the gym 5 days a week for an hour at a time but you can increase your daily caloric expenditure by increasing your activities throughout the day. Every little bit of activity will add up and doing a little is much better than not doing anything at all. There are many ways to increase your daily activity. You could try wearing a pedometer, clean your house and stand more instead of sitting at work. It is recommended that everyone no matter what age aims for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week for general health benefits.
A pedometer is a great way to increase your motivation and in return your activity each day. A pedometer is a device that counts the steps taken by the person wearing it by detecting the motion of a person’s hips. By using a pedometer you are creating competition within yourself to try and beat you previous number of steps from the day before. When wearing a pedometer it is recommended that each person aim for 10,000 steps each day. Ten thousands steps is a lot at first so you have to be creative! Start by increasing your steps by parking further away each place you go, taking the stairs when you can, replace you coffee break with a brisk 5-10 min walk, play with your kids, push mow the yard. By adding activity in throughout your work day you will likely feel more energized and your work will be more efficient due to better blood flow to the brain.
Cleaning you house can easily be turned into a higher intensity activity by turning up the music and really getting into it! You will want to pick music that is upbeat and energizing! As you start cleaning try and clean with a pep in your step. Vacuum a little more vigorous, dance while you are sweeping and sing while you are mopping. This will do two things! You will one be burning more calories and you will two be having a lot more fun doing a chore! Win! Win!
Stand instead of sitting at work! When you stand you naturally burn more calories. In an average work day you will burn up to 328 more calories standing compared to sitting. There are even specially designed desks that are able to go up high enough for standing and low enough for sitting. If you can’t afford the fancy desk that is ok, try standing when you’re on the phone throughout the day. This will give you time to stretch your legs and get better circulation.
Just by making small changes to your daily routine you could be increasing the number of calories burned, manage your weight better, increase your cardiorespiratory endurance, lower your stress level and have more energy! Try making one or all of these changes and commit to it for a month to see how to goes. You might just surprise yourself with how great you feel.