7 Ways to Stay Active on a Daily Basis
Do you struggle to make time to stay active?
Carving out time in your busy schedule for consistent exercise can be difficult, particularly when it comes to developing a daily habit.
The 15 Day Challenge asks participants to stay active for at least 30 minutes per day. But those juggling many responsibilities may lack half an hour to spare.
We understand that life gets busy, and exercise may not be your top priority. That’s why we’ve put together 7 tips to help even the busiest person find ways to stay active!
Why is it important to stay active?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity movement per week.
According to the CDC, achieving this amount and intensity of exercise every week can produce countless benefits for your body, including the following:
- Improved brain health
- Reduced risk of certain diseases, including some cancers and heart disease
- Strengthened bones and muscles
- Reduced risk of depression and relief of short-term anxiety
- Better sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol
- Weight management / obesity prevention
With The 15 Day Challenge, you’ll be exercising for 210 minutes per week—even more than the recommended amount! Try these ideas to make physical activity a consistent element of your lifestyle!
1. Incorporate physical activity into your routine!
Simple changes make all the difference. Even tiny steps to get moving can be beneficial in preparing your body for more intense physical activity!
Such tried and true advice as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from your office to enjoy a lengthier walk can give your legs a much-needed stretch to start the day.
Better yet, try incorporating small exercises, such as squats or lunges, into your everyday activities, like cooking or getting ready in the morning!
To work your leg muscles throughout the day, consider wearing ankle weights under your clothing for extra resistance when you walk.
You can even exercise while you’re lying down! Try leg raises or lifts, bridges, or crunches next time you’re lounging on the couch or in bed to help strengthen your core and start toning your muscles!
2. Stand up!
According to the CDC, people who consistently sit for most of the day are more prone to chronic disease, lower metabolism, and obesity. Standing, in contrast, can help boost your metabolism and lower certain health risks!
In fact, a CDC study found that workers who spent more time standing at their desks rather than sitting experienced better moods and less back and neck pain.
Plus, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has found that because the muscles in your back and legs work harder, standing burns slightly more calories than sitting! The difference is by no means astronomical, but for example, a person who weighs 170 pounds can burn almost 50 calories more per hour while standing.
Instead of sitting down for hours at a time, try standing at your desk at work! Remember to take breaks every once in a while; get your blood pumping with a short lap around your workplace or home!
3. Get cleaning!
Have too much to do around the house to fit exercise in? Try combining chores with physical activity! If you add a bit more intensity to your cleaning, you could burn a few calories!
Though they may not be as effective as a standard workout, activities such as mopping, scrubbing floors, washing dishes, cleaning windows, gardening, or mowing the lawn can count as moderate physical activity!
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time for a workout, put extra effort into your cleaning! This tool from the Calorie Control Council calculates a rough estimate of the calories you can burn through various activities around the house!
4. Go for a walk!
Walking is an ideal balanced exercise for those who want to get moving without an intense workout. Get your heart pumping and your blood flowing with this simple exercise!
Zaynah Witter, one of our Season 1 Weekly Winners in The 15 Day 25K Contest, began a practice that she termed “Walk & Worship.” Throughout her 15 Day Challenge, she woke up early to pray and walk outside for 30 minutes, which she said helped her feel better physically and improve her mindset.
Click here to read our blog about the benefits of brisk walking!
5. Use a fitness tracker!
Fitness trackers are designed to make your accomplishments visible, a rewarding experience as you progress toward your goals!
Many wearable fitness trackers allow you to set goals for your daily steps, calories, and exercise intensity. Try using a fitness tracker like Myzone that records your effort while exercising, allows you to share your activity with your friends, and helps you plan workouts based on your goals and current fitness level!
If you want to determine whether your workouts are effective, try using a fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate and calories lost. Map your progress for a motivating boost to your workouts!
6. Exercise in community!
There is no need to sacrifice your social life for exercise. In fact, many of our 15 Day Challenge participants have completed their challenge in groups for extra motivation and accountability!
Workouts are beneficial for the whole family! One of our Season 1 Weekly Winners, Jamellah Golsonel, completed The 15 Day Challenge with her son. They worked together to improve their health by taking walks or biking around New York City.
Try jogging or biking with a friend, playing outside with your children, or taking your dog for a stroll to spend time with loved ones while working toward your goals!
7. Split it up!
If you don’t have 30 consecutive minutes to dedicate to physical activity, feel free to split up your exercise! Any amount of movement, even five or 10 minutes at a time, is better than none!
Set timers on your phone to mark short spurts of exercise throughout the day. The internet is full of quick, five-minute exercises!
If you often find yourself glued to the couch, try making these quick exercises into challenges to get moving. Before scrolling on social media, exercise for 10 minutes. Do sit-ups, leg lifts, or yoga while you watch TV. Try running for the full duration of your favorite song! If you dread exercise, find ways to combine it with fun activities!
Starting small leaves room for growth.
The 15 Day Challenge is all about forming habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle. The goal of exercising for 30 minutes per day may seem lofty, particularly if physical activity is not a major part of your current routine. But our goal is to help you build an active lifestyle that will not only benefit your body but leave you feeling better.
Start with simple changes and build from there. Hopefully, with just a small shift, you’ll begin to feel a difference.
By Morgan Brown, Creative Content Writer at Total Life Changes