Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this past year many people have gotten less “incidental“ activity. When working from home, we lose the background movement that we would normally perform in our office or in order to travel. Most people then think that the need for increased exercise and movement can only be replaced by “purposeful” activity. This is defined as direct vigorous workouts such as running biking or doing aerobic routines.
Below, I list five of the many ways that you can sneak incidental or peripheral movement into your day. They contribute significantly to the your purposeful vigorous workouts that you perform throughout the week.
1: Add more steps to your day. Do this by parking your car at the edge of the parking lot and take the stairs whenever you can. If you take the stairs, you will receive both aerobic and strengthening benefits. Further, if you walk upright not holding onto the handrail it adds an additional component of subtle core and balance training.
2: Turn your house or yard work into a work out. Pay particular attention to good body mechanics as you do lifting activities and you’ll easily be able to do a good squat routine. When you’re doing aerobic activity, such as vacuuming or pushing a lawnmower, use good posture and pacing activities to kill two birds with one stone.
3: Walk around when you’re talking on the phone. Because most of us are using cordless phones. It is easy to get up and walk around while we are talking. A 10 minute conversation could be transformed into a 10 minute walk.
4: Sit less and move more. Sitting most of the day leads to obesity and increases his risks of many diseases. Sitting is called the new smoking as people who sit for more than four hours per day have a 40% higher risk of premature death. To combat this, when sitting at your desk, arise every 20 minutes for a change of position. Better yet, consider working part of your day at a standing desk.
5: Take a technology break. When you take a break from your work activities, turn away from the easily accessible computer that sits in front of you. Get up and walk around. Even if it means going to another room to have your lunch. Give your brain a technology break and your neck and back a sitting break.