From extended periods spent sitting on a chair to lazing around on weekends, the modern lifestyle can be quite sedentary. We all know the dangers of consistent inactivity and why it’s important to maintain some sort of physical exercise.
But when you have a desk job that requires you to spend at least eight hours a day sitting down, that’s easier said than done. Sitting for extended periods has many dangers so here are twelve ways to help you stay active when your daily routine restricts regular movement.
1. Set a Timer
If you’re motivated to stay active but find it difficult to do so because of work commitments, setting alarms for breaks can help.
You can set an alarm to go off for every 60 minutes of work and schedule easy exercises that take 2 to 3 minutes. If you don’t have enough space or privacy to do jumping jacks and other rigorous exercises, you can take a walk around the office.
2. Take Your Calls Standing
If you’re frequently on calls with colleagues and clients, this is the best solution for you. You can even decide to take a walk in the garden or pace in your office if the call allows.
3. Use a Standing Desk
Rotating between sitting and standing is great exercise. It doesn’t require you to move or leave your desk, so your time spent at work isn’t compromised.
A standing desk also allows you to change your posture often enough so you can prevent pain and fatigue at the end of the day.
Plus, standing burns more calories than sitting.
4. Swap Your Chair for an Exercise Ball
For those who can’t switch to a standing desk, an exercise ball can do the trick.
Its bouncy design requires you to engage your muscles to stay balanced. This is better than keeping your muscles and body frozen in one position all day!
5. Do Stretches in Bed
Here’s one way to get active from the comfort of your bed — stretching exercises!
You can do them in the morning or before hitting the sack at night. Even better, you’ll get more restful sleep and enjoy more energy during the day.
6. Step Out for Lunch
Whether you’re working from home or commuting to the office, lunchtime is a given. And it’s your best opportunity to get active.
Instead of sitting at your desk, consider taking your lunch at an outdoor garden, park, rooftop terrace, patio, or other any other place that requires a short walk.
This habit will allow you to stretch your muscles and get a little exercise without too much additional effort. The fresh air and natural sights are also a refreshing and energizing change for your body and mental state.
Find it difficult to get out of the house when the temperature drops?
Here are some tips for staying active indoors during winter.
7. Walk or Bike to Work
This is a great way to stay active if you commute to the office daily. Alternate between walking and biking to work to burn some calories and get more movement in.
If your workplace is too far to walk or bike, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Even if you only do it once a day, this small change can make a huge difference.
Another idea is to park further away from your office so you can get some steps in before and after work.
8. Tidy Up
How about a two-for-one? Doing chores can be quite the calorie burner. Tasks like mopping, vacuuming, and gardening can get you breathing harder and your heart beating faster.
At the workplace, you can try rearranging your desk which can be a workout in itself.
You’re not only making your environment more conducive for work but you’re also getting good exercise!
9. Workout as You Binge-watch
Love a good binge-watching session? Then this is the perfect tip for you.
There are many exercises you can do without leaving your living room. You can try combining your TV time with sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, planks, squats, lunges, and many more.
Plus, you can catch up on your favorite TV shows as you work towards better health.
10. Schedule Workouts in the Morning
Finding time to work out at the end of the day or week can seem impossible. Many of us are stuck in traffic, preparing dinner, and taking care of other commitments. Even if you do make it to the gym after work, you’re probably too tired to exercise.
So why not squeeze in some physical activity in the morning?
Since you’re waking up after a full night’s sleep, you’ll feel more refreshed and rested than at the end of the day. And the energizing workout will set you up for the day ahead.
You can also schedule sessions with a friend or find a coach for accountability and to keep you on track.
11. Ditch the Drinks and Dance
If dancing and drinking is your way to beat workweek blues, then you’re on to something.
But we suggest you skip the drinks and hit the dance floor right away!
Dancing is one of the best activities for a myriad of reasons. An average person weighing 180 pounds can burn up to 206 calories in just 30 minutes of dancing.
You can even bust those moves with a quick dance session in your living room any time of day!
12. Pedal Away at Your Desk
This one requires investing in an exercise bike but it’s absolutely worth it!
An under-desk bike is a brilliant way to get a serious workout even if you’re sitting most of the day. They’re designed to sit low so they fit under most desks, allowing you to burn calories while keeping yourself energized at work.
Plus, this type of exercise machine is light enough to move around easily. You can transfer it from your desk, in front of the TV, or under the kitchen counter so you can multitask.
If you’re working from home and are looking to buy a desk anyway, you can get a desk bike. These desks have built-in exercise bikes with adjustable heights so you can work and work out simultaneously.
Takeaway: Make Small Changes for Big Health Benefits
By switching up old routines and making minor changes, it’s possible to make your current lifestyle more active. Whether your days are spent at home or in an office, we hope you can find a way to be more active with these tips.
Here’s to a healthier and more active year ahead!