Increasing your daily physical activity levels should be the cornerstone of creating a better body and improving the quality of your life. Despite wide acceptance that physical activity is a simple, low-cost alternative to disease prevention and treatment, most of us still simply don’t move our butts enough.
The main problem is modern lifestyle choices such as driving, working at a desk and mobile phone use etc. don’t work in our favour. They all require us to stay in a fixed position for a long duration. This kills our physical activity levels. Even as I’m writing this sitting at my desk, trying to improve your body and health, it’s being detrimental to my own body and health! How’s that for irony?
Sure you can try and offset it by adding in 3-4 workouts into your week, but that will only get you so far. It’s time to accept moving more is the only true cure. Before we get on to some strategies you can employ to maximise your physical activity output, here’s the top benefits you’ll experience by doing so:
– Increased metabolic rate.
– Burns more calories (important for fat loss goals).
– Enhanced recovery from your gym workouts.
– Improves your ability to use insulin and other hormones.
– Decreases chances of being diagnosed with various diseases including diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
– Reduces aches and pains.
– Improved quality of life.
Swap Lifts To Stairs
The oldest trick in the book. And still one of the most effective. Accumulatively, making this swap will add up for some great results. Not to mention climbing stairs can be hard work!
Track Your Steps
Tracking your steps and having a goal in mind will give you something to aim for which can be really motivational. You’ve got plenty of options these days. You can buy a pedometer, a smart watch, a fitness watch even your mobile phone can tell you. As a baseline 10,000 steps per day is a good start.
It’s all to easy to drive places these days, so if you can walk or cycle. If you do have to drive you can partly redeem yourself by parking as far away from the door of your destination as you can and walking the rest. This can add up to another 200 steps onto your daily total.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Ensuring you’re optimally hydrated obviously carries plenty of health benefits in itself. But surprisingly it can also increase your daily physical activity levels. How so you ask? Well there’s two main reasons. Firstly you have to move to get the water/fill up your bottle etc. Secondly if you’re drinking enough it will mean you’re spending more time getting up and going to the loo throughout the day.
A client of mine introduced me to this strategy. And if your job allows it, it’s certainly worth incorporating into your day. There’s a few options you can implement. First up it’s what we call the conference call walk. Instead of spending your conference call sitting down, plug in your headphones and walk around. Secondly it’s the concept of a walking meeting. Instead of spending a small group meeting sat around a desk, do it walking. You can convince your boss by stating that physical activity can improve your brain power and concentration.
Invest In A Stand-Up Desk
A stand-up desk is a relatively new concept to the health and fitness world. They’re great for improving posture, preventing back pain and maintaining optimal joint alignment. As well as keeping you on your feet allowing you to move more during the day. They’re quite expensive, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t improvise by stacking up some books and putting your computer monitor on the top.
Have Some Fun
Take what you will from this title. Take up a sport, try rock climbing, go for a run, have more sex – whatever takes your fancy! There’s only three rules:
1. Your “fun” has to have the option to be performed at least once per week.
2. It should elevate your heart rate beyond resting level.
3. It should put a smile on your face.
Buy A Dog
Ok don’t just go out and buy a dog, but maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while and this is the final push you need. Having a dog means you’ll be forced to be more active at home. Dog walks, interacting and even letting it out to go for a wee before bedtime will all add up and increase your output.