Exercise is a key contributor to health and happiness: Beyond triggering that runner’s high, it’ is associated with a higher quality of life, improved health, and a better mood. But missing a few gym sessions doesn’t mean staying active has to fall by the wayside.
Sneaking cardio into daily life can save time and improve fitness, sometimes on par with the benefits of a scheduled sweat session. And more time getting moving in our daily lives means less time sitting, which can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and early death. While intense exercise is good for us, it doesn’t completely erase the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, so making an effort to get moving throughout the day can have some serious long-term benefits.
AT THE OFFICE
- Be a stair master: But consider taking them one at a time, not two. Researchers found that, while the rate of caloric expenditure is higher when taking two at a time, the burn over an entire flight is more when taking one at a time. In one study, participants climbed a 15-metre stairway five times a day with an average of 302 calories burned per week using one step and 266 calories per week when using the double step.
- Walk and talk: Make like the West Wing and hold walking meetings. While moderate walking uses almost two-and-a-half times the energy of sitting in a meeting, mobile meetings can also strengthen work relationships, improve health, and boost creativity.
- Please stand up: Think of your ring tone as an alarm to get up out of the chair. Throw in a few bodyweight exercises before sitting back down.
- Hydrate often: Drinking a lot of H2O means more trips to the bathroom, which means more steps throughout the day. Pick a bathroom further away for even more steps.
ON THE GO
- No more lazy layovers: Stuck in the airport because of a delayed flight? Don’t just sit there. Do terminal laps – but skip the moving sidewalks!
- Ditch the drive: Bike or walk to work instead. In addition to adding stress, commuting via public transportation or car can rack up sitting time.
- Made in the shade: While running errands, park in the shadiest spot, not the closest, to log more steps and keep the car cool.