Incidental Exercise

We all aim to adopt healthy habits in our lives, but some may not come as easy as others. Incidental exercises are the movements we carry out as we live our daily life. We complete numerous activities during the day and may not realize the exercise we are fulfilling all adds up to our daily expenditure of calories. Little by little we can accomplish activities that can lead to incremental improvements in our fitness. As long as we are moving throughout the day, we can boost our metabolism and energy levels.

When I went away to University part of the reason I chose to attend San Francisco over the other schools was because I was able to walk everywhere I needed to go. After finishing school I was able to walk downtown to work every day. These small bouts of exercise all add up. Especially when you include the massively steep hills of San Francisco! Even today I constantly tell myself not to be lazy when I want to leave a shopping cart out in the parking lot, or take the lift to my apartment. It’s a commitment I have made with myself.

Physical exercise reduces the risk for countless health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. Experts say 30-minutes of exercise per day should accompany the 2.5 hours of weekly vigorous exercise. Aim to perform a cumulative 30-minutes of exercise per day with 10-minutes here and another 10-minutes there, or a full 30-minutes of exercise. Think about it, we are awake on average 112-hours per week. How are we spending our time? So make the conscious effort to include more incidental exercise in your daily routine. As long as you’re disciplined, you can be the role model to your friends and family. Being able to move is not an inconvenience, it’s a privilege and an opportunity!

Tips to include more incidental exercise:
• Take the stairs, skip the escalator or elevator
• Park further away in parking lots
• Bike or walk to work if possible
• Get off the bus/train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way
• Play with your kids outside, don’t just sit and watch them
• Do some lunges as you walk around the house
• Dance in your living room to your favorite tunes
• Do some ab work during commercials
• Try to get up and move around every half hour during the day. Take a trip to the water cooler for a glass of water, or do some stretching at your desk.
• Take meetings outside and go for a walk
• Wash your own car
• Do some gardening
• Find ways to laugh
• Make cleaning the house an event and work up a sweat
• Explore your neighborhood via the bike or walking
• Go for walks before meals, and bring your dog if you’re lucky enough to have one!
• Plan family outings around physical activities
• Purchase a pedometer and aim to increase your steps per week

 

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