You try to stay active — maybe you go to the gym regularly or perhaps you hit the pavement a few times a week — but what are you doing outside your structured activity?
If most of your day is spent traveling to work, sitting at a desk job, or relaxing watching TV, you’re not alone. Studies show that Americans spend more than half of their waking hours (almost 8 hours each day!) sitting down, reclined, or lying down. When most people sit at work all day, and unwind by watching TV or playing on their smartphone, it’s easy to see how sedentary time adds up!
Research shows that too much sitting is potentially more harmful than too little exercise. This is true even for individuals who exercise consistently. For example, spending a lot of time engaging in sedentary habits, like watching several hours of television each day, is associated with twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in individuals who report getting 1 hour of moderate-vigorous exercise per day, compared to those who get the same amount of exercise but spend much less of their day sitting. Some other repercussions of too much sitting include neck, shoulder, and back problems, tight hips, glutes and leg muscles, poor leg circulation, underused muscles, and poor concentration.
While we can’t create more hours in a day, we can find time to make activity a part of our day. Here are Noom’s top 10 tips to add more activity to your day:
- Get climbing: Whenever you’re given the option to use an elevator/escalator or take the stairs, climb those stairs!
- Plan ahead: Have a 30 minute lunch break? Get some fresh air and take a brisk 15-minute walk in the neighborhood.
- Get on up: If you find yourself seated for more than several hours at a time, set an alarm or reminder on your phone to get up once an hour to stand up, stretch your legs, and move around.
- Multitask: Whether you’re on the phone or chatting with a co-worker, make it a point to walk and talk!
- Get silly: Forget board games and movies — bond with your children, nieces and nephews, or even friends by playing a friendly and fun game of tag, soccer, or hide-and-seek.
- Back it up: Whenever you’re using public transportation, get off a stop or two early to get some steps in.
- Change your ride: About to hop in the car to go to the corner store? Walk there instead!
- Take up a new hobby: Challenge yourself with a new active hobby like biking, hiking, skiing, or dancing.
- Step it up: When you do take your car out, park further away from your destination.
- Rethink your recreation: Always meeting your friends for dinner or drinks? Take a nature walk or hike!
Every step counts!
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