Many of us who lead hectic lives need more exercise. But who has the time? Here are five ways to build a little more exercise into your day:
1. Set up a healthy trigger. A trigger is a ritual or external occurrence that reminds you to do something. If you design a trigger that initiates healthy activity, you will build that healthy habit much easier. For example. Picking up the morning paper reminds you to do 5 chin-ups or placing the dinner plate on the table reminds you to drink a glass of water before your meal.
2. Healthy Multi-Tasking. Sometimes, we end up skipping something important because we don’t have enough time or we forget. If you build healthy multi-tasking into your schedule, you will remember to do these things without expending any additional time. For example, floss your teeth in the shower or pace while talking on the phone in order to stretch your legs, relieve the stress that sitting places on your back and get some exercise.
3. Stealth Exercise. There are certain everyday activities that can be tweaked to become healthier without much effort. You probably already know that taking the stairs is an easy way to get some exercise. But did you know that taking the stairs two at a time is fairly equivalent to doing squats.
4. Get Down. Squatting is one of the healthiest exercises/stretches for the lower back. Studies have consistently shown that members of societies that squat (think: no indoor plumbing) have a significantly decreased rate of lower back pain. Squatting for just thirty to sixty seconds a day is beneficial to your back.
5. Walk Through It. Brisk walking is excellent exercise. Build a little extra walking into your day by: parking a few blocks further away and walking the difference; holding walking meetings in which you walk together with your workmates (perhaps the first meeting during which no one falls asleep) and, as mentioned above, stand up and walk while you talk on the phone.