Fitting In Fitness: How Being Active Throughout the Day Adds Up

I just don’t have the time to exercise.
If you’re like me, it’s hard to find a full 30-45 minutes free every day to devote to hitting the gym, jogging or your preferred method of getting active. Many people, myself included, find this is one of the biggest barriers to moving more. We tend to view being active as an “all or nothing” condition. Either you run for 30 minutes every day or you work out your fingers hitting buttons on the remote. Well, I’m here to remind you, that’s not how living an active life works.

It All Adds Up

Fortunately for all of us busy folks, your 30 minutes of exercise doesn’t have to happen all at once. It is works just as well to break it up into smaller “bite-sized” chunks throughout the day until you hit the 30-minute (or more) mark. In fact, it might even be better to approach physical activity this way. Research has found that even if someone exercises for an hour a day, if they spend the other 23 sitting/sleeping/generally not moving, there is not nearly as much of a benefit to their health or lifespan. It’s best to be active throughout the day. And since walking right after a meal helps with digestion, you can use your meals as reminders to take an activity break.

short bursts of exercise

Take mini physical activity breaks throughout the day.

What Activities Work?

There is no right or wrong way to move more! Anything that gets your heart beating faster and you breathing heavier counts as physical activity. If you have time and space, a brisk walk is a great choice. You can also do some bodyweight exercises, like squats, push-ups, or planks anytime, anywhere. Working in the garden (weeding, raking or carrying water) is activity that we usually don’t think of as exercise. Here are some more ideas for little physical activities you can use throughout the day. The best choice of activity is whatever works for you!

I have been squeezing in more activity at work recently. Every time I need to use the restroom, I make a lap down the entire hall. I also stand up and stretch every hour or two, which feels so good and helps me re-focus on my work. And since the weather has been so nice recently, I like to go for a short walk during lunch to get some fresh air and lovely sunshine.

What ways can you add more activity to your typical day?

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