Think about it: the more we move, the more energised, happy, and upbeat we feel.
And while rest days are awesome and sometimes very necessary, living a predominantly sedentary life can make us feel drained and empty. The solution? Get up and move more!
Beyond just not feeling good, spending most of your time sitting at a desk, plopped on the couch, or otherwise, plays a massive role in some of the most problematic health conditions of our time like obesity, heart disease, and depression.
For those who do not get to enjoy the benefits of a sit-stand desk, many people working desk jobs may feel restricted with their movement but there are a few simple tips to help you find the time to exercise even when you’re confined to a laptop for your nine to five.
These four simple steps will encourage you to move more and feel good!
1. Sit less and move more
It’s normal to spend a large part of your day sitting but try to be aware of how much time you are sitting down so you can break up the long periods as much as possible.
By finding new ways to stay motivated to move, you can take charge of your wellbeing.
There are plenty of ways we can get up and be active, and you can become creative with your day at the office – take calls standing up or schedule a walking meeting, walk over to colleagues instead of emailing them, or simply take the stairs instead of the lift.
The best way to stay active at home is to actively choose to do manual tasks that are manageable to fit into your daily life. This might mean that you take breaks during commercials while watching TV to walk around the house.
Alternatively, doing some lunges or sit-ups while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or the microwave to finish is a super simple way to continue moving.
2. Set yourself some fitness goals and stick to them
A fitness goal, such as aiming to go for an hour walk three times a week, gives you something to work towards and can also make you accountable. Having a goal might be the extra motivation you need to squeeze more steps in!
Aiming to walk a certain number of times each week is a great way to motivate yourself to move more, and it gives you an immediate target to focus on.
Using wearable technology can help you track your everyday activities as well as your heart rate, but most smartphones will let you keep track of your daily steps with or without the wearables.
These applications are also a super helpful way to set daily exercise goals and can support you to track progress over time.
3. Squeeze in more movement to your commute
We all know how challenging it can be to fit a new exercise routine into a hectic lifestyle, so it’s a good idea to make your commute to work your workout.
During different seasons, take advantage of the early sunrises or the milder weather and consider walking to work if you can, or riding a bicycle in. Getting off the bus one stop earlier and enjoying a walk the rest of the way is also a great way to improve your health.
Using the time that you would’ve been sitting in your car or public transport is an effective and efficient way to create time you didn’t think you had to exercise.
You’ll be impressed with how energised and prepared for your day you feel with the fresh air and morning workout.
4. Bring a buddy to your workout
Group fitness can have a significant impact on your health.
Choosing to exercise with friends tends to be more enjoyable and it’s an easy way to motivate you to commit to a routine and hold you all accountable for your own success.
Working out with friends can be a great way to socialise and strengthen friendships, which helps boost mental wellbeing.
Moving our bodies each day is essential for both physical and mental health and it can help our body and mind function at their best.
Don’t let exercise become a burden to you and try to find ways to incorporate movement into your daily life in a way that feels good and works for you!
Author bio: Dr Priya Chagan joined TAL, a leading Australian life insurer, in 2016 as the Chief Medical Officer and in November 2020 was appointed as the General Manager of Health Services. She is a skilled insurance medicine professional with over 15 years of experience in several international markets in the insurance and healthcare industries.
This article was originally published on A Girl In Progress.