Moving your body should be fun – not something you feel like you have to do, but something you want to do. Reframing the idea of exercise to “movement” makes it feel less intimidating and stressful and gives you more flexibility to move your body in a way that feels good to you. Maybe one day you feel like going for a short jog and the next you’re trying a dance or kickboxing class. Maybe spending time weeding your garden and caring for your yard is your go-to way to move your body, or perhaps it’s long hikes in the woods to clear your mind.
You can easily incorporate more movement into your day to hit your goals, increase your steps, or just enjoy the endorphins and feel-good vibes you get when your heart is pumping and your blood is flowing. Discover a few of our favorite easy ways to get moving from AM to PM.
Maximize your step count.
On a beautiful day, park further from the door than you normally would when you stop for groceries or run errands. Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you can. If you’re early for an appointment, take a quick walk. If you have a one-on-one with a coworker or your boss, propose a walking meeting instead of sitting in a conference room. The extra distance adds up, and your body will thank you for the cardio benefits.
Get outside and play.
When was the last time you really played outside? Has it been … decades? Channel your child self and head outdoors for a game of kickball, flashlight tag, hide and seek, or whatever else strikes your fancy. If you have children, head to the park and play together, throw a ball in the backyard, or let them lead you in a made-up game. Invite friends and family over for an outdoor game night with croquet, badminton, kick the can, or relay races. You’ll have so much fun you’ll forget that you’re exercising.
Power clean the house.
Everybody wins when you use household chores as a way to get moving. Vacuuming, dusting, washing floors, laundry – it all counts! Get the whole family involved and you’ll enjoy extra motion in places you may not regularly stretch or exercise (hello, bending and lifting) and a sparkling clean house.
Set a daily goal.
Are you motivated by hitting goals? If so, challenge yourself each day and squeeze in extra movement. Maybe you walk a mile on Monday or do 10 burpees on Friday to ring in the weekend. Maybe you try to hit 10,000 steps each day or get 30 minutes of cardio. If you have a fitness tracker or watch, use it to help you hit your goal.
Make the most of downtime.
Do you have ten minutes between meetings or need to hit the refresh button on your focus? Get up and move! Do a quick workout video on YouTube or an app, turn on some music and dance, walk up and down the stairs, or challenge yourself to do a certain number of pushups or squats. A quick burst of activity will boost your energy and help you get back to the task at hand.
Because so many of us work desk jobs, it’s easy to have a seat and get to work, only to realize several hours have gone by and you haven’t stood up once. Fitness trackers and smart watches can nudge you to stand every hour, but you can also consider investing in a standing desk (or asking your company to chip in for one) or taking calls while standing or walking when possible. If you need help remembering to stand, add an hourly reminder in your calendar.
Streeeeeeetch it out at bedtime.
Getting your heart pumping is great, but at the end of the day, help your brain and body unwind with a restorative stretch session — even just five minutes! Make it a nightly ritual to signify that it’s time to transition to rest and relaxation and give your hardworking muscles the pampering care they deserve.