As January is quickly coming to an end… I have a question for you: how’s that losing weight resolution going? You already forgot about it?
Since losing weight is the most common broken new year’s resolution, I thought it would be appropriate to bring some hope in the equation.
We already know that exercise is good for us in so many ways. And hitting the gym and sweating for four hours each week, can mean nothing if you sit at your desk all day long and eat trash food. When I paid a visit to a nutritionist, she told me to make sure I move around every hour, because otherwise, my workouts are pretty much pointless. Even a trip to the kitchen for a glass of water counts.
So here are 9 easy ways to get more exercise without hitting the gym. Oh, and some of them are quite creative!
1. Get a Fitness Bracelet
Chances are that you already got one for Christmas.
You know I’m not the type of girl to encourage consumerism, but in my case, the fitness bracelet really helped me become more aware of how much I exercise throughout the day. It helps me wake up easier, I get to see how many steps I got, it reminds me to stand every hour and much more.
In my case, the fitness bracelet helps keep myself accountable. I will admit that I was quite obsessed with hitting the 5 k goal each day (that’s my daily goal), but after the excitement faded, I continued to use the bracelet and I use it guidance. I must say, I expected to throw it away after a month or so, but I keep using it every day.
A good, decent fitness bracelet doesn’t have to break the bank. For almost a year now, I’m using a MiBand3 (linked it in the shop section too). The battery lasts over three weeks, it still works great and it was very cheap.
2. Take the Stairs
The good, old “take the stairs” piece of advice.
In some cases, you might have to take the stairs because there isn’t any lift, or it broke down. But if you have the option to not take it maybe climb a couple of floors.
Unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from climbing stairs, there shouldn’t be any reason to climb a couple of floors. Start small: climb just one level and then take the lift. You can do this until you feel ok to skip the lift altogether.
And no one will judge if you take the lift every now and then because you just want to get home quicker.
3. Skip a Bus Stop or Two. Or Walk
Of course, the ideal case would be to start having a walk instead of driving or taking the bus. But sometimes that is not realistic.
What you can do instead to make sure you get some extra exercise, is to get off the bus a stop or two earlier than your regular stop. Easy trick to get some extra steps.
4. Ask Instead of Text or Email
Instead of texting or e-mailing a colleague, just take an extra minute and go ask in person. This will also bring some social interaction and will also keep your inbox cleaner.
I know that texting is easier and quicker, but it’s also a habit that cuts social interaction a lot.
One thing to keep in mind: some people might find this intrusive since it can interfere with their workflow. So better ask before it it’s ok to stop by for a couple of minutes for a quick question.
5. Switch Routes
When I used to drive to work, I had 2-3 routes I could take. I was switching them from time to time because my brain got so used to a route that I had mornings when I couldn’t even remember how I got to work.
The same thing can happen when you commute by public transport. Switch to a different route that might require a little bit more walking and it also brings a nice change of scenery.
6. Coin-flip Stroll
I think this is a really nice activity to do with kids as well since it’s fun and you can also use it as a way to teach them directions.
If you’re walking around the neighbourhood for a regular walk, things might get quite dull quickly.
What you can do to make it more fun is to flip a coin at every conjunction. Let the coin decide if you should turn left or right and be careful not to get lost. 🙂
7. Walk, Don’t Wait
It probably happened more than once to get somewhere earlier than you’re supposed to.
If you get early to a meeting, doctor’s appointment or whatever, walk for a few more minutes, instead of just sitting down.
8. Meeting Walks
This is something that I used to do at a previous job. We were based in a huge business park and we had a lot of alleys and green spaces. Every now and then when I wanted to share things with a colleague, we would go for a walk around campus.
You can have a coffee break or walking one-to-one meetings.
This approach gives you some extra mild exercise, you get to have a nice conversation and you also have privacy. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t take a walk with a colleague.
9. Walk Faster
Since I commute by public transport now, I’m always in a rush to catch the bus. You never really know when the bus will get there, so better safe than sorry. This “affected” my walking. I walk way faster than I used to and I notice it when I’m with other people – because they are SO slow.
Speed walking increases your heart rate, which ultimately contributes to better cardiovascular health. Done properly, it can also burn fat.
There’s no doubt that we all need a little extra exercise in our lives. Moderate exercise helps improve mental health, digestion and reduces stress. I don’t think there’s any reason to no exercise a little more.
I hope you found some inspiration and motivation in this article to exercise more without breaking a bank or the gym.
Stay happy and healthy!