Strategies to Get More Movement into Your Daily Routine

Strategies to Get More Movement into Your Daily Routine

Increasing your overall physical activity can significantly improve your health. But aside from working out 2-3x a week at Max Fitness, you can actually get more movements outside the gym. There is a concept called nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which refers to the energy expended through everyday activities that stimulate your metabolism.

These activities may seem inconsequential (strumming a guitar, folding laundry, etc) but they can effectively counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.

Let’s explore these NEAT strategies that you can incorporate into daily life for more movements:

Use Your Phone for Active Breaks at Work

Set alarms on your phone as reminders to stretch for a few minutes every hour. Use phone calls as cues to stand up and start pacing or shifting your weight from one foot to the other.

Simplify Step Counting

Having a visible record of your daily step count can inspire you to engage in more movement. You can easily increase your step count during various daily activities. For instance, park your car at the far end of the parking lot or consider getting off the subway or bus one stop earlier. These extra steps may seem minor, but they accumulate over time and can make a significant impact on your overall caloric expenditure.

Take the Stairs

Choose the stairs whenever possible. However, if climbing the entire staircase seems overwhelming, consider taking the elevator up and walking down when leaving a building. Alternatively, if you’re heading to the fifth floor, consider walking up two or three flights and then taking the elevator for the remaining distance.

Turn Chores into a Dance Party

Household chores may not be the most exciting activities, but they offer an excellent opportunity for NEAT exercise. Increase the calorie burn by playing energetic music while you vacuum, iron, or tidy up your living space. The lively rhythm will add pep to your step and make the chores more enjoyable.

Combine Strength Training with Grocery Shopping

Next time you visit the grocery store, try integrating strength training into your errands. If the store is within walking distance, consider carrying the groceries in your arms rather than using a cart. If you need to drive, transform the process of unloading the car into an at-home exercise by performing a few bicep curls each time you lift a bag out of the trunk.

Engage Your Feet in Fidgeting

Toe tapping and heel raising while seated can be excellent NEAT exercises that engage the muscles in your lower legs. Additionally, these movements may help prevent arterial disease, according to research conducted in 2016. To further increase the intensity and caloric expenditure, try placing a large book on your knees while raising your heels.

Maximize Standing Time in Lines

Whether you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, post office, or movie theater, use these moments to engage in NEAT activities. For example, try standing on one leg or stepping side to side. When using public transportation like the subway or bus, opt to stand rather than sit, leaving the seats available for those who need them.

Sit on a Stability Ball

Traditional chairs provide little to no muscle activation, but sitting on a stability ball, also known as a fitness or balance ball, forces you to subtly contract multiple muscles to maintain your balance. If it’s not possible to use a stability ball at work, consider sitting on one while watching television, eating dinner, playing video games, or reading at home.

Learn what happens to your body when you start exercising regularly:

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