This month on The Hub, we’ve been looking at the importance of staying active as you age and the various ways you can keep up your physical activity. This is a daily necessity and therefore you have to be conscious of putting in that extra effort everyday to keep moving for the sake of your health. And this doesn’t require as much life-altering changes as you might think. Small little things you add to your daily routine can really add to those benefits of remaining active. So change how your day for the better with these small ways to keep yourself moving.
Make the most of your time.
One of the biggest excuses you hear from people about why that have difficulty remaining active is that they just can’t find the time. Look here, we’re all busy. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate and it can indeed be stressful, but if you can’t find the time to get out for a walk, then there’s some things on the schedule that have to go. There is time to be found everyday to get even a little bit of exercise. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, at night before bed or maybe multi-tasking, you can squeeze in some physical activity.
Take the stairs.
This would be a great example of finding those small ways to remain active without reworking your whole schedule. It’s just about finding those opportunities where you might normally be inactive and pursue the more active choice. Every time you press the button for the elevator, ask yourself; do I need to do this, or can I take the stairs?
Stop looking for the easiest path.
Similarly to taking the stairs, there are ways in your daily routine that allow you to choose between the easy path or the path that keeps you active. As much as you can, avoid the easy way, even in the smallest of circumstances. Park farther from the door, take the long way around, move more than you have to whenever you can.
Go for a lunch walk.
Lunch is important but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a much-deserved break and remain active. A lunchtime walk is a great walk to build-up your energy for the afternoon, collect your thoughts, and it can even be very relaxing during the hectic work day.
Get a dog.
No, you should not get a dog just to keep yourself active. You should get a dog because they are lovable, adorable, fun companions. It’s just an added bonus that they are a great motivator to stay active more often. Go for a walk by yourself and you get a sense of accomplishment. Take your dog for a walk and you get that same accomplishment but also have some great company who will be extremely grateful for taking them out with you.
Hit the gym on the way home.
Going to the gym is a real drag. It’s just not for everyone’s tastes, but it can be a very easy way to get some regular exercise. There are some who can remain active without a gym membership and more power to them. But for the rest of us, making the gym part of our routine is key to making it stick. Force yourself to stop by on your way home from work. It will be a struggle at first but soon will become a fulfilling way to end the day.
Limit your screen time.
We live in a world in which it is very easy to spend a large chunk of your day staring at a screen. We sit in front of a computer at work. We go home and watch TV to relax for the night. Then we get in bed and read our phones or tablets until we fall asleep. It’s just not healthy. Try to time out you screen time and set a daily maximum for yourself.
Keep it tidy.
Though you might not notice it, a messy environment makes you mentally unmotivated to get active. Whether it’s your workspace, your kitchen or living room at home – keeping it clean will help you get in the right frame of mind to get up and get moving. As a bonus, if you do a little tidying every now and then, that chore in itself keeps you active.
Needless to say, you work hard during the day and you certainly deserve to relax as well. But try to avoid sitting on the coach all night once the workday is done. Such inactivity can become a habit that is very difficult to shake off. Instead try to motivate yourself to get out every once in a while. join some after work activity, go get groceries, take a walk. Anything that keeps you from staying inside all day is a benefit.
Go for a personal best.
What’s a better motivator than competition? And who better to compete against than yourself? Keep striving and pushing yourself to do better than you did yesterday. Make a game of it. Track your steps and then try again and again to beat your best.
It doesn’t all have to be about you going for long walks by yourself. You can still remain active while maintaining a social life. In fact, staying social is a great way to keep active. Meet up with friends after work and do something together. It gets you out of the house and moving while having some fun.
Think exercise is boring? Then it’s up to you to change that. There are plenty of ways to inject a little fun into your daily exercise. Along with being more social, form a walking club so you and your friends can get out and spend some time together. Join an amateur sports league. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while out for walks. Boredom isn’t an excuse for laziness.