15 Quick Tips to Become More Active
Yup, you read that right. We are essentially built the same way as our distant ancestors.
What does this mean? It means our bodies were made to move. However, today we are the least fit and least healthy human population to ever exist. We sit for long durations. We eat chemically processed foods that our bodies aren’t made for. And if we don’t turn it around anytime soon, we will inevitably be our own demise.
How can we prevent this? It starts with education. And hopefully, that is exactly what you are here for! You read the title of the article and thought, “Hey, I could probably use a little more movement in my life. Let’s see how I can do that.” Or we hope you did anyway!
Your body is made for daily movement. It dates back to the hunter-gatherer days. Movement was an essential part of life and survival. Low-intense movement was a daily occurrence, and bouts of high-intensity were necessary during life-threatening moments (Hence, the HIIT exercise movement that doesn’t appear to be fizzling out anytime soon - it really is good for you).
So, if you’re looking for a little fitness inspiration to feel better and move more, here are 15 useful and totally actionable tips for you! Heck, you can even start some of these right here and right now. Implement them today and see how you feel.
Now, let’s get this list rolling.
1. Take the Stairs
Simple. Easy. Effective. Technology has really made things too easy for us. Why are you waiting for the elevator when you can easily walk up those 4 flights of stairs? It’s completely doable - and sometimes, faster. Start taking the stairs every chance you get. And do the same when you need to head down a few flights.
If you find you aren’t in the right shape for this, start small. Walk up as many flights as you can, then hop on the elevator. Gradually increase. Each time, remind yourself that you are making small but positive changes for better health.
2. Park as Far Away as Possible
Do you constantly cruise around the parking lot looking for the closest spot to the door? Axe this habit today. Begin parking in the farthest spot. Walk it. You can. Plus, it throws a few extra steps into your day. These steps add up! And if you want to hit your Fitbit goal, this is definitely a strategy you’ll want to use.
3. Hop Off the Bus a Few Stops Early
If you bus to work, try switching it up. Get off the bus a few stops early and walk to work. It won’t only amp up your activity levels, but you’ll also feel energized and ready to tackle your day once you do reach the office. That fresh air and movement sets you up for success!
4. Clean on a Regular Basis
Sometimes a little fitness inspiration can come from completing your to-do list while incorporating a bit of movement. Cleaning takes work. You are walking, reaching, wiping, scrubbing, and so on. It’s not easy - And whoever says they haven’t worked up a sweat when cleaning may not be cleaning properly (I’m not even kidding).
Start cleaning on a regular basis - say once a week. Throw on some good tunes and sweep away! You’ll feel great after moving and bonus: you’ll have a clean home or apartment (double-win!).
5. Start Biking to Work
Ditch the car for commuting. They are bad for the environment and bad for your health. Plus, you can probably bike faster or at the same rate as that rush-hour traffic. So, what have you got to lose?
6. Use Social Catch-Ups as an Excuse to Get Active
When planning to catch-up with family or friends, do something active. Try hiking, rock-climbing, walking, or a fitness class - whatever floats your boat! You get to catch up and won’t feel bad about the usual overkill on calories when eating out with friends.
7. Start an After-Dinner Walk Routine
This is great for digestion and for mental clarity. Most of us feel sluggish and lazy after a meal. Instead of plopping down on the couch and spending the rest of your night there, go for a quick walk around the block (or longer).
8. Walk, Whenever & Wherever You Can!
Seriously. Just walk. Walk on your lunch break, to the store, to work, or to meet friends. Find ways to squeeze in tiny bits of activity every day! You’ll live longer and feel better.
9. Quit a Bad Habit & Replace it With Exercise
For example, if you eat dessert after every dinner, replace it with an after-dinner walk. I replaced stressing out with exercise. Instead of stressing out, panicking, and letting my emotions get the best of me, I go for a run. And consequently, I feel that much better. In other words, out with the old and in with the new! Get creative. What do you want to quit doing? Can you replace it with some form of movement?
10. Start Doing More Gardening or Yard Work
Mowing the lawn is exercise. It’s movement. Plus, you get the added mental benefits of fresh air and the great outdoors.
11. Perform High-Intensity Interval Training Workouts
The excuses when it comes to exercise pile up fast. Not enough time is the number 1 excuse people don’t do it. High-intensity interval training, HIIT, offers a quick and effective workout method to help you become more fit and healthy - minus the hours upon hours of time. HIIT workouts can take less than 20 minutes (some can even be done in less than 10).
The internet offers a wide variety of HIIT workouts from beginners to advanced. Try YouTube or Google to find one that works for you.
12. When Travelling, Hit the Pavement
Avoid the hop-on, hop-off buses. Walk it or run it. You’ll see more when exploring a new city (or even re-discovering your current one) and get some serious exercise in.
13. Throw on Headphones
Play your favourite music - preferably something with a beat and something that amps you up. It really can make all the difference when it comes to whether or not you want to workout. It can also be a great addition and excellent fitness inspiration for walking.
14. Track Your Steps
Fitbit offers motivation to move, but there are tons of free apps you can download on your phone to track your steps if you don’t want to spend the extra cash. It gives you accountability. Make your recommended 10,000 steps per day. It’s possible!
15. Take Regular Stretch Breaks
This is for those office dwellers out there. Small, but frequent stretch and movement breaks at the office can greatly improve your health and activity levels. It further combats the bad effects that sitting all day can have on your body and your health. Try stretching every 1-2 hours or going for a quick walk around your floor.
Every Little Bit Counts!
It all adds up. You can’t have a dollar without 100 cents (even though Canada got rid of the penny, it still matters!). Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start small. Take actionable steps toward better health and a better life, starting today!