Ways to integrate physical activity into your busy schedule
You don't have the time or energy before or after a long day of work/school to exercise? Don't worry, we have all been there. The good news is, there are many easy ways to integrate physical activity into your busy schedule. Here are some ideas of how to make exercise part of your daily routine so you won't forget to keep moving:
Start your day with a nice stretch
Before you get up in the morning do these 5 stretches to wake up and mobilize your body. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, then switch to the next exercise.
- Start by reaching for your toes. This can be done while seated on the edge of the bed or with the legs stretched out on the mattress for a more advanced stretch.
- Then sit up and pretend to hug a really big ball. Round your back pulling your shoulder blades away from each other.
- To stretch the chest area, interlace your fingers behind your back and lift both arms softly towards the ceiling.
- Next, reach your right hand over your head and lean to the left side. Repeat this with your other arm.
- As a final move, twist your upper body and look over your right, then left shoulder.
You can also do these movements before going to sleep or throughout the day when you feel tense or have been sitting for a while.
Incorporate movement in everyday activities
While you brush your teeth in the morning and evening, get on your tiptoes and move up and down. You can even balance on one leg and switch half-way through. This will strengthen your calves and improve your body control and balance.
Start walking around when you’re on the phone. In the office, place the printer and telephone farther away from you so you have to get up when you need something.
Watching TV is the perfect time to do little workouts. Do a little arm workout by reaching them out on each side with your palms up and do little circles. Or challenge yourself by holding a plank or running in place during commercials.
Consciously choose the longer way
Instead of using the elevator - take the stairs! Even when there are only a few steps in your daily surroundings, you can jump up the steps with both feet together then walk down them backwards and up again. This also helps training your brain!
If you ride the bus, hop off one or two stops earlier or park your car further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Remind yourself to move
When your job or studies require a lot of sitting, set yourself a timer. When you sit longer than an hour, get up and do 10 squats followed by the morning stretch routine. If you're lacking the motivation to stand up, try to push your feet against the floor. This activates your abs and glutes. Hold this for 15 sec and do 2-3 repetitions. After this try to push your forearms against the tabletop for the same amount of time.
With these little hacks you really have no more excuses not to move.
CHOOSE the HEALTHy way and step by step build up a routine that involves movement throughout your day.
Author: Julia Urban, ESV