Exercise isn’t about calories burned, but about movement. It’s imperative now to discover ways to simply move around more—even if only for brief periods—throughout your day. Make it official personal policy to take stairs instead of elevators, park at the furthest spot in parking lots instead of always angling for a closer one, and generally prioritize pedestrian movement over sedentary options. Here are several tips to add more movement to your daily routine:
Wake-Up Stroll: Grab the dog and take a lap around the block to gradually build energy and prepare for a busy day. Even if you only have 5-10 minutes to spare in the morning, it’s well worth the effort.
Brief Work Breaks: Mounting evidence suggests that work productivity, mental health, and stress management can improve significantly when you moderate digital stimulation and take frequent breaks away from focused, sedentary tasks to engage with fresh air, sunlight, open space and physical movement. Get outside and stroll around the office courtyard, up and down the building stairwell, or otherwise make do with whatever your surroundings. When you sit back down at your desk, you will have a perceptible improvement in energy and focus.
Stroll Before Arriving Home: When you pull into the driveway after a day behind the desk, behind the wheel, and behind in paperwork, hit the road for 5-10 minutes before you kill the momentum by opening the front door.
After-Dinner Stroll: Regular 10- to 20-minute outings will establish a wonderful tradition of winding down the evening, and will present an appealing alternative to going from the dinner table straight into the TV or computer room.
Grand Weekend Outing: Take a trail hike at a regional party or an urban journey downtown to the farmer’s market and back home. Set a reasonable goal based on your existing fitness level. Most everyone can walk or bike for at least an hour at a comfortable pace, and many can enjoy a two-or three-hour hike.