We all have busy lifestyles and exercise doesn’t always take first priority. But what if you could get fit and healthy just by incorporating small chunks of fitness into your day?
Sound too good to be true? Well think again.
Incidental exercise is a great way to keep healthy because it’s both achievable and sustainable. You may not realise it, but there are so many opportunities throughout the day when you can do a short spurt of exercise that will get your heart pumping and metabolism going.
Despite what people think, exercise doesn’t have to involve hefty gym memberships or access to specific equipment. Instead, it’s more about adapting lifestyle habits.
By simply changing and thinking about how you move, you can quickly start to reap the multiple health benefits associated with exercise and sustain a healthy weight.
So what types of things should we be doing in order to achieve this?
Walk not ride
We all know it’s often preferable to stay on the bus until it delivers you at the door. But, by simply getting off a stop or two earlier, you can start the day’s exercise off on the right foot.
If you’re the type of person who’s motivated by goals, buying a pedometer may well help. Keeping track of the amount of steps you’re achieving each day can often spur you on to increase your target over time.
Park further away
When you go shopping you rarely find a spot directly in front of the door.
So, rather than waste time driving around aimlessly, head straight to the furthest point of the car park. Not only will you bag a space without a fight, but you’ll also be incorporating an extra walk into your day.
Organise walking meetings
Organising walking meetings can be a great idea for people who spend a lot of time at work sitting at a desk.
Getting out in the fresh air is beneficial for your mind and soul, and incorporating extra walking throughout the day will soon clock up the miles for your health too.
Go home via the park
Many parks and outdoor spaces now have workout equipment to entice people to incorporate exercise into their day, so avoid making excuses by walking past it daily.
In the absence of equipment, use a bench, fence or wall to bust out a quick set of dips, push-ups or box jumps.
Matt Burns, fitness expert and trainer for Open Colleges, shows us some quick and simple exercises in the following video. These moves will work your whole body with little or no equipment.
Incorporating exercise into your busy day If you work in an organisation spread over multiple floors you’ll likely be up and down a few times a day. So, rather than take the lift, take the stairs whenever possible.
Stair climbing is one of the easiest ways to get healthy, and just two minutes extra stair climbing a day is enough to stop average middle age weight gain.
Similarly, seven minutes a day can halve the risk of heart attack, while climbing just eight flights a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%.
By changing a few small parts of your daily routine, you can start to feel the benefit. Is there anything you do to increase your fitness daily? Let us know in the comments!
Jo Hartley is a freelance writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. Jo regularly writes about health and fitness for Huffington Post. She has also had her work featured in SMH Life & Style, SMH Daily Life, Sunday Life, Body + Soul, Practical Parenting, MiNDFOOD and many more.
At MyDeal, we suggest riding a bike to work as a mode of transport - it's fun and inexpensive!