Small bits of exercise can add up to weight loss.
Eating fewer calories and burning more calories will help you shed pounds, and anyone trying to lose weight knows that diet and exercise are important pieces of the puzzle. However, some people are naturally better at dieting than exercise and others find exercise the easier task. Maybe you’re one of the people who struggle with making physical activity a regular part of your daily routine. You know you need to exercise more, but finding the time and making it a priority just isn’t happening.
The good news for people like you is that while you may not be able to commit to half an hour or hour of exercise every day, there are ways to add small amounts of exercise into your day. Over time, those small changes add up to make a big difference.
Here are a few ways to increase your physical activity to help you reach your weight-loss and fitness goals.
Take advantage of your lunch break. Instead of going out to eat, bring a packed lunch and some walking shoes. When you’re finished, eating take a walk. Put in your earbuds or ask a co-worker to join you for company. Whether it’s for 10, 15, or 30 minutes, a walk around the block or around the office complex, the benefits will pile up. Go up and down the stairs as you come across them. And remember—you don’t have to go full speed or even break a sweat to reap the rewards of walking. Increase the number of steps you take each day and you’ll burn more calories along the way!
Depending on your television service, you may or may not have commercial breaks. If you do, take advantage of them. If you don’t, you can still move around while watching your show. Get on the floor and do some push-ups, sit-ups, or planks every few minutes. Work your legs with squats or lunges. Turn things up a notch and do some burpees or high knees. In other words, if you’re going to watch television, don’t just watch television. Move!
At least once an hour, take a short break from what you’re doing and move around. If it helps, set a timer on your phone to remind you. Walk to the break room to refill your water bottle. Do some tricep dips on the edge of your chair. Keep a couple hand weights at your desk and do a few bicep curls, upward rows, overhead extensions, or tricep kickbacks. They may seem small and insignificant, but these will help you feel and look better.
Skip the Ride
In your daily routine, you likely have ample opportunity to exercise if you stop trying to make life as easy as possible. Instead of driving around and around the parking lot in search of the closest spot, go for the spot farthest from the door and walk. Rather than waiting for the elevator to arrive, choose to take the stairs. When you have to drive a short distance, why not ride your bike instead? You’ll save gas, trim your waistline, and add to your life expectancy.
Walk the Dog
You may normally open the door to let your dog out in the fenced yard, but there’s a better option. Take your dog for a walk once or twice a day and you’ll burn calories. Not to mention the fact that your dog will love you. Move at a brisk pace or jog for a few minutes. Just going around the block is hundreds more steps than you would have taken by just letting your pooch out the door alone.
Outings with friends and family may typically include eating out, happy hour, or movies, but why not plan to do something active? Play Frisbee in the park, go dancing, get a group together to play soccer or volleyball, go roller-skating or ice skating, or join a sports recreation league. You’ll have so much fun it won’t feel like exercise.
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