Written by Terry Nguyen
“I'm going to wake up an hour earlier than usual to work out.”
We've all been there and done that — but really, do we ever follow through with this mentality for more than a couple of days? Have no fear, here's a complete guide on how to work exercise into your daily routine.
Before we get into the exercise part, we need to start off with stretching.
Stretching is an important process that many neglect in their daily life.
Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, increases blood flow and allows you to maintain a healthy range of motion throughout the day. Essentially, stretching prepares your body for movement (and exercise) and should always be a precursor to performing any strenuous activity.
You can stretch at any time: brushing your teeth, putting on clothes or even making coffee and preparing breakfast in your kitchen. There are a bunch of basic stretches you can perform casually that will help improve your posture and musculature at the start of your day. For example, you can touch your toes while waiting for your breakfast toast, or do some arm stretches before putting on your coat.
In addition to stretching, commit yourself to a movement mindset.
What's a movement mindset? you're probably wondering.
A movement mindset is one where you push yourself to constantly move throughout the day. Many of us often get lazy, and therefore, we find loopholes around even the most basic physical activities, such as getting up to take out the trash. Find household activities or those in your workplace that allow for you to move and get some physical exercise.
During your lunch break, for example, you can choose to walk over to a café blocks away from your office, instead of driving over and ordering takeout. You can also take jogs to the convenience store when you need to pick up the groceries, or devote yourself more to walking. These small activities can add up to a decent amount of physical activity in your life, although you should still strive for 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week.
Household chores, such as doing laundry, sweeping or cleaning, also require a lot of integrated movement.
While performing these activities, it's important to keep track of your progress and set goals to meet a certain level of physical activity each day. For example, this can be as simple as meeting the 10,000 steps suggestion on your fitness tracker. If you find yourself struggling to reach this goal, take time during certain sedentary activities to get up and do some easy workouts to get your blood flowing and muscles moving. (Or just use a treadmill desk like a WALK-1 to get your workout at your desk.)
Search online, and you will find tons of five to ten minute workouts you can easily accomplish anywhere, at work or at home. Many of us often utilize our break periods to browse social media or our e-mails, but you can take advantage of this time to get a little workout done. It can be a basic ab workout, a quick jump-rope to get your heart rate up or even some yoga poses, depending on your fitness preference.
To stick to these fitness resolutions, it's important to create a calendar or attempt to plan proactively to ensure that you incorporate fitness into your lifestyle, no matter how “mindless” these activities appear.
Exercise requires effort, and although many of us fall into the stereotype of lazy adults, even minimal effort is needed to implement change into your life.
We've left you with more than enough suggestions to incorporate fitness into your life (has any blog ever suggested stretching while making toast?), so now it is your turn to implement these changes into your routine.
Author Bio: Terry is part of the UnSit.com team. She writes about fitness, health and lifestyle in the hope of inspiring others to join UnSit's movement mindset. She is also an avid food blogger and a fitness junkie at heart.