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[Wellness Wednesday] 21 Small Ways to Move More

Happy Wednesday everyone, and welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! Today I’d like to talk a little bit about how we can move more to improve the physical dimension of our wellness.

We are becoming more and more sedentary, which is causing serious health concerns. The Sedentary Behaviour Research Network defines sedentary behavior as “any waking behavior characterized by an energy expenditure ≤1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs), while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture.” So basically, more and more of us are spending our days expending very little energy.

The current recommendation for physical activity is 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. If you break it down, that’s 30 minutes per day. The problem is that many of us aren’t anywhere near meeting those recommendations, for various reasons.

The effects of a sedentary lifestyle on our health can be devastating.

According to medicalnewstoday.com, “Leading a sedentary lifestyle is becoming a significant public health issue. Sedentary lifestyles appear to be increasingly widespread in many nations despite being linked to a range of chronic health conditions.”

There’s hope for us though. So often, we think if we can’t make it to the gym every day, we can’t get any exercise at all. While it’s true that consistent, focused exercise is vital to good health, there are also lots of little things we can do to get more movement into our day.

I’m not saying that these things replace the moderate-to-intense exercise the Physical  Activity Guidelines recommends. What I’m saying is we can cut down on the amount of time we spend being sedentary. In addition to that we can increase our energy expenditure when we’re involved in other activities.

21 Small Ways to Move More

At Home:

  • While you’re watching TV or bingeing Netflix, every 30 minutes, get up and move around for three minutes. If you just can’t bear to get up in the middle of your show, you could always move around for 6 minutes once the show’s over.
  • While you’re cooking dinner or doing household chores put on your favorite music. Who can resist moving when your favorite song comes on?
  • Move around while talking on the phone.
  • Declutter daily. This not only keeps your house looking great, it gets you moving each day.
  • Take a short stroll after dinner.
  • Plan family get-togethers around being active.
  • Find little ways to sneak some exercises into your daily activities, i.e. do some heel raises while brushing your teeth, squats while drying your hair, etc.
  • Weed the garden or your flower beds.
  • When reading, get up and move around every 10 pages or so.

At Work:

  • Use a standing desk (if available). Even better, move around while you’re standing there.
  • Take a walk during your lunch break.
  • Set a reminder to move around every 30 minutes or so while working at your desk.
  • Do some light stretching or take your joints through their full range of motion at your desk. This can help you move more and keep you from getting stiff.
  • Whenever you drink water, take a movement break as well.
  • Instead of emailing a colleague, go talk to them.
  • If you take public transportation to work, rather than looking for a seat, stand up for the commute. This can have the added benefit of strengthening your core since you have to use it to remain standing when that bus or train is lurching around curves and corners.

When Out and About:

  • Park further away from the the building you plan to visit.
  • Use waiting time wisely – if you have to wait in line anyway, you might as well make it count. Even shifting from foot to foot can expend a little more energy.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.
  • If you’re stopping for food, skip the drive-through. Parking and going in will help you get some extra steps in.
  • Visit local parks. They can be a great place to explore the great outdoors and move a little more.

Every little bit of movement helps, especially when there are factors or circumstances in our lives that keep us from exercising regularly. Doing small things to increase movement and improve energy expenditure can help us take those baby steps toward improving the physical dimension of wellness.

What are some small things you do to help you move more? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

Sources:

10 Quick Ways to Disrupt Sustained Sitting, ACE Fitness Journal, Jul-Aug 2019, Len Kravitz, PhD, CSCS

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322910.php

https://www.sedentarybehaviour.org/sbrn-terminology-consensus-project/#consensus-definitions

17 comments

  1. I’m not sure this is helpful considering smoking in itself is bad for you. But I leave my cigarettes outside so that I have to get up and move each time I want one. I have also started making sure my groceries are separated by things that HAVE to come in the house immediately from those that don’t and then carrying in one bag at a time… not very productive but does keep me moving

    1. Thanks for sharing Grace! Those are some great tips! I would imagine the thing with making sure your groceries are separated that way is really helpful also for days when energy levels are low and you need a little break after shopping. Hope you’re doing well!

  2. Like the standing desk at work idea! I haven’t sat behind a desk in the last year since I have one for my computer. Love it, and much healthier to stand than sit!!

    1. Thanks for sharing Jeff! Is yours one that is standing-height all the time or is it the one that adjusts from sitting to standing? I’ve looked at the latter, but it was too hard for me to move up and down easily. Of course, I saw some at Office Max that were electric. Our breakfast bar in the kitchen is the perfect height to stand and work, so I just decided to get my MacBook so I could work anywhere.😊 Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Mine slides up or down to sit, but I just put it at highest height and left it up, so I don’t know if it’s hard to move or not. Those electric ones are nice! Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Great reminder because before you know it you have been sitting for over 1/2 hr. or even an hr. depending on what you maybe doing, ie. sewing, crafting, surfing for that particular interest, etc. Not much on the tv thing but like to read my devotionals and for get absorbed and forget to move it, move it. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Janet! Like you said, it’s easy to lose time while we’re doing something and then realize we’ve been sitting in one place for longer than we’d like. Sending hugs your way!

  4. Thank you Terri. These are all great ideas. It has been a very rainy week here and getting outside is challenging, although I did visit a garden this week with the aid of a large umbrella.

    1. Thank you Brigid! We’ve had a lot of short bursts of rain and brief storms over the last week or so, but they didn’t stick around. I look forward to hearing about your visit to the garden!

  5. There are so many small, manageable things here that can make a difference day to day. “Every little helps”. The one where you say about making use of time while brushing your teeth and waiting for things made me remember I used to do push-ups against the kitchen counter and squats while boiling the kettle and making toast. Did it for
    a few years as it became habit, until my ops. I’ll have to get back to doing that again!
    Brilliant suggestions, Terri.
    Caz xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz, and thanks for sharing! It’s amazing how the tiniest things can add up throughout the day. Since my pup has been sick, my activity has increased just taking him out for additional potty breaks. He’s doing better and not needing quite as many breaks, but they don’t ever complain when I want to take them out.😁

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer! It definitely works for me – I can’t be still when there’s music playing.😊 Blessings to you sweet friend!

  6. As always Terri, I love reading your weekly posts. This one especially; perfect timing. The at home and out and about ones are easy to follow but the one at work is the one that most of us needs to concentrate on. We seldom realize that we can be sitting at our desk for hours on end without moving. It’s something that we need to realize and do something about. I’m currently trying to make an effort to get up from my desk and move about. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much Mark, and thanks for sharing! I know what you mean about sitting at your desk for hours on end. It’s easy to get busy doing things on the computer and lose track of time. My Fitbit alerts me at 10 minutes before the hour if I haven’t gotten up and moved around, so that’s helpful. I just have to be sure I don’t ignore it.😊 Hope you have a great weekend!

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