More and more studies that continue to pinpoint the dangers of an overly sedentary lifestyle are constant reminders of why we need to incorporate more movement in our day-to-day lives.
The most recent study on the subject found that too much time spent sitting each day may increase a person’s risk for coronary artery calcification, which is an indicator of heart disease that can increase the risk for a heart attack. And that’s only one of the health issues associated with sedentary behaviors.
Basically, science is finding that we need to build more movement into our daily routines—a feat that can be difficult given the many modern conveniences that often make staying seated too easy to even consider any other options.
Routine daily movement is important for so many different reasons, though.
“Movement keeps the fluids in your body circulating and circulation is the key to longevity,” says Alisa Wyatt, a fitness and health expert and the founder of Pilatesology, a new website providing online Pilates classes. “Think of your body like a fish tank. If the pump on your fish tank stops working, the water stops circulating and stinky stuff starts to accumulate really fast.”
She says the key to not only keeping your joints, bones and muscles healthy, but also maintaining younger looking skin, regular digestion and a happy mood is making sure to maintain adequate blood circulation every day and on a regular basis by incorporating small exercises into your daily routine.
“It’s all about utilizing all of the time that you have for fitness,” Wyatt said. “Integrate fitness into all aspects of your life so it isn’t just a scheduled, regimented hour each day.”
She says that in order to do so, we need to think of daily life as a “fitness opportunity.”
“If you set little goals for yourself each day it makes it fun,” Wyatt added.
Below she shares six simple ways that you can easily incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.
1. “When you drop off your kids at soccer practice several times a week, go for a jog around a nearby neighborhood and do lunges in a different part of the park, rather than just drive home.”
2. “During your lunch break, drive to your local gym and do 30 minutes of cardio to give yourself a mid-day boost.”
3. “If you are carrying a basket of laundry, do 10 bicep curls and lunges down the hallway.”
4. “On the phone at work? Stand up and do lunges, calf raises and push-ups against your desk— anything that gets hard after about 10 reps is great.”
5. “When I travel I often set a goal to do 100 squats every day. I might do 10 while brushing my teeth, 10 while waiting for the elevator and so on.”
6. “Another way is to choose an exercise that's hard for you as a goal. One of my clients is a grandfather and he keeps the goal of being able to get down to the floor gracefully without using his hands. He knows if he doesn't do his daily exercise he quickly loses the strength, coordination and flexibility to do it and that keeps him motivated. “