At first, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation of getting 150 minutes per week might sound like a lot. Broken down, though, that’s only 30 minutes of activity, five days a week.
Even better! You don’t need to fit 30 minutes of activity in all at once. Breaking your activity down into several short bursts of activity can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes at a time.
If you are struggling to find 30 minutes to be active a day, you aren’t alone. A 2018 report from the CDC found that less than 25 percent of Americans achieved the minimum guidelines regularly. Fortunately, there are several ways to sneak activity into your daily routine so you can sit less and move more without feeling the impact on other aspects of your life.
5 Ways to Move More Throughout the Day
1. Walk and Talk
Walk around your office or home the next time you are on a phone call with a colleague instead of sitting at your desk. Even standing instead of sitting will give you benefits by increasing your heart rate and burning a few extra calories.
2. Exercise During Commercials
You don’t need to give up watching TV to be more active. Designate each commercial break to run through a quick workout. Target one muscle group per commercial or do a full-body workout. For example, do 10 jumping jacks, 10 crunches, five pushups, and five squats during each commercial break. You could also march in place until the commercial break is over.
3. Stretch and Cook
Put that awkward time when you are waiting for your meal to heat up in the microwave to good use. Start with some shoulder rolls, then stretch your calves, glutes, hips, and arms. Use this trick at work while you heat your lunch and at home as you cook dinner on the stove.
4. Find Ways to Walk Further
Walking is an excellent exercise, and there are plenty of ways to add it to your day. Park your car far from the door to the grocery store. Use the bathroom on the floor below your office instead of the one that’s only 20 feet away from your desk. Take a walk after meals to improve digestion and keep your blood flowing. Short, five-minute walks quickly add up over the course of a day.
5. Set a Movement Timer
Set a timer on your phone, watch, or computer that will remind you to move regularly. For example, set a timer to move for five minutes per hour. Get up and walk around the building, do some jumping jacks or squats, or just stand and stretch at your desk for five minutes. If you do this once an hour for every hour of your workday, you will have completed more than 30 minutes of activity before you leave the office.
Commit to Moving More
With these easy ways to be more active, there’s no excuse not to meet the minimum activity requirements of moving 150 minutes per week. Commit to moving more throughout the day so you can enjoy the health benefits that come from being more active. Your heart, lungs, mind, and muscles will all thank you.