I, like many people, used quarantine as an excuse to kick back, enjoy a Netflix show (or seven), and lounge around to my heart's content.
With the gyms being closed and outdoor activities being limited until recently, who's going to have the motivation to work out every day? I sure didn't.
After weeks of becoming a little too acquainted with my couch, I decided it was time to start making some changes. I decided it was time to get back into an exercise routine with the resources available to me. I started out super small and worked my way to where I am now, which is working out 5 days per week with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training.
The secret to getting back on the wagon if you've fallen way, way off like me (I'm not joking, I fell off the wagon, down a mountain, then to the bottom of the lake essentially) is making small adjustments to your daily routine that get you moving just a little more.
There are so many easy ways to live a more active life, you just have to get a little creative sometimes.
You'll feel so much better when you start moving more that you'll be motivated to make it a daily habit! To learn about easy ways to live a more active life, keep reading...
Easy Ways to Live a More Active Life
Increasing your activity level can be super simple and even fun!
Here are my suggestions:
Be Less Productive With Chores
If you have the time, this is a great hack to get your body moving more. We have a tendency to bunch everything together in a way that saves us time, but if you're stuck at home, why get it done quickly?
Taking even longer to do chores? WHAT?
I know, I know, but just stick with me.
Instead of grabbing everything that needs to go up and down the stairs in one trip, grab one thing at a time and make a few trips up and down the stairs. As long as you don't have any joint problems or other injuries that make stairs difficult, going up and down the stairs is great for your health!
Benefits of taking the stairs include:
Free workout (no special equipment is needed)
Doing so over and over again may fulfill the recommended daily activity goal of 30 minutes
If you climb between 50-60 flights of stairs per week you'll have a lower mortality rate
Higher aerobic capacity
And so many more!
Imagine if you could complete your daily exercise and get your chores done at the same time! It's truly a win-win situation.
Make It a Family Affair
If you have kids, fitting an exercise into your day can be difficult.
If you can't find a minute to get away and do a workout on your own, make it a group effort. Take your kids to the playground and play with them. Climb on the monkey bars with them, swing on the swingset, throw the ball with them.
Not only will your kids appreciate the effort you're putting in, but your body will thank you too.
To get your entire family involved, consider going on family walks every night. Leave the electronics behind and just use this time to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other's company.
Even if you don't have children, playing is an important part of our lives at any age.
It can be so easy to go into autopilot and just turn on a TV show, snack, then go to bed. Not only is this not serving you at all physically, but it's probably not doing anything for you emotionally (I know I don't feel good when I've spent the night on the couch).
If you live with roommates, your partner, or even just yourself, go play. Grab a ball and throw it around outside. Play hide and seek. Make an indoor golf course. Make up a dance routine.
How you choose to play is entirely up to you, but whatever you choose just know that you're doing something awesome for your health!
Start Counting Your Steps
I've recently bought an Apple watch which includes a step counter on it, and it's completely changed my exercise game.
I work at a desk all day, so I didn't realize just how much I was sitting! The first day I wore it I only took like 200 steps. Yeah, that's not good.
If we don't realize how little we're moving, it's a hard, if not impossible, habit to break.
Since I've gotten my watch, I've tried to make a solid effort to get at least 10,000 steps each day. Now, I don't always achieve this goal, but I try my best to get as many steps as I can since the reminder is flashing on my wrist constantly.
Even if I don't have time to go for a run or walk for miles outside, I'll take little breaks and do laps around the house. Or, I'll be less productive with my chores so I can increase my steps.
You don't have to invest in anything fancy, just something to tell you your steps. Simple step trackers can be found for as little as $20.00. The point is that setting a goal makes it easier to follow through and achieve the things we want. A step counter holds you accountable for that goal.
Set a Simple Rep Goal
I've actually been using this hack for a couple of years now and I love it!
If you don't have the time to set aside time for a full-on cardio and strength workout, set a goal for the day. For example, I'll set a goal of doing 100 squats in a day sometimes. This may seem like a lot all at once, but when you break it up into 10 sets of 10 reps, it's really not hard at all.
I'll do a set as I'm taking a break from work, I'll do a set on a commercial break if I'm watching TV, or I'll do a set as I'm cooking. Even when I was going to work every day, I would do my reps in the bathroom since we had individual bathrooms.
You may feel silly stopping what your doing and pumping out squats, crunches, or whatever other exercises you're doing, but you won't feel silly when you start to see the results!
Just Get Moving
You don't have to go out and run a mile in under 10 minutes or do a crazy 45-minute HIIT workout as you're trying to get back into exercising.
Take it slow and make small adjustments to your day when you can. When you notice how good you feel, you'll be motivated to do more. Remember, getting back into a healthy routine is a marathon, it's okay to go slowly as long as you're taking steps to be healthier.