5 Ways to Move More Through the Day

We know we need to move more and realize there would be significant health benefits. Instead, many are stuck in their daily contemporary routines that keeps them sitting more than 10 hours a day. Here are 5 easy and practical ways to add more movement to your day that surpass the obvious “park further away” and “take the stairs.”

Benefits of Movement

Moving your body gets your heart beating and your blood flowing. And, blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body—to the brain and the muscles. It helps us create more of the good stuff and eliminate the waste.

Research from the University of Georgia2 found that when sedentary people started just 20-30 minutes of low-impact exercise (ie: walking…simple movement), several times a week, they had more energy and less fatigue.

Simply walking has been shown to improve circulation, enhance oxygen delivery and increase blood flow to the brain and muscles. Resulting in a boost of energy. It’s even been shown to make us happier—along with a whole host of other health benefits.

Benefits of Movement:

  1. Increases energy

  2. Less fatigue

  3. Improves sleep patterns

  4. Boosts Mood

  5. Boosts immune system

  6. Improves & reverses many chronic diseases

  7. Increases strength, flexibility, and endurance

  8. Enhances Brain Health

  9. Reduces aches and pains

  10. Helps you live longer


Risks of Too Much Sitting

Research has shown sitting for long periods to be associated with obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, excess waist body fat, as well as an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. (1)

And, women who sit 7 hours or more per day are three times as likely to experience symptoms of depression than their more active counterparts. (2)

Even more concerning, risk was significantly higher for 8 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States for those sitting more than 6 hours per day or more. (3)

One study found adults can meet public-health guidelines on physical activity, but if they sit for prolonged periods of time, their health is still compromised.

An intriguing finding from this study is that even active breaks in sedentary time (distinct from the overall amount of time spent sedentary) were shown to be beneficial.

RELATED: 10 Tips to Reduce Sitting All Day and Improve Your Health

5 Ways to Simply Move More Through the Day

  1. Take walks after meals. Make a rule to take a quick walking stroll after each meal. This gets you moving and also aids in digestion and helps to decrease sugar spikes.

  2. Alarm to Move. Add a time tracker with alarm to your computer or use one on your smart phone or watch. A simple old-fashioned alarm works too. Set it for every 45 minutes and get up and move for at least 2 minutes. Even if you are at a standing desk, step away and move during those minutes. Take a quick walk around the house or office. Or jump on a rebounder and/or do a few body weight exercise.

  3. Active Office. Set yourself up for success by creating a working space that encourages easy activity. A standing desk, balance chair, rebounder, hand weights, a door pull up bar, a yoga mat (if you do not have carpet). Have these things in place and a plan to use them in small increments through the day.

  4. Add a Yard Activity. This could be gardening or an actual yard game. Set up a corn hole toss or horse shoes in the yard and make a plan to walk and play a few minutes each day.

  5. Use a smaller glass. We know drinking water is good for us. And, you have been encouraged to fill giant glasses full of water to keep at their desk to help keep track of how much you are drinking. Instead stick with a smaller glass, even 8 or 16 ounces. This ensures you will have to get up more often and walk to the kitchen or cooler for a refill. And, as a bonus, drinking more water encourages more bathroom breaks. Take those separately from refilling your water.

Take a minute to stand and think on these. Which of these can you add into your daily schedule right now? Add them to your calendar or post them on a note. Make it happen!