Many of us don’t realize how sedentary out lifestyles are. Spending hours working at a desk, sitting on the couch at home, watching TV—all of these things keep us off our feet and not moving much. You may think these are harmless activities, but studies have shown that having a sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased risk of health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure. One study has even found a link between this lifestyle and early death. It’s a fact—not getting active and moving our bodies throughout the day is bad for our health.

 

So how do we fix this? The good news is that there are countless fun ways to incorporate more movement into your life, regardless of your job or time constraints. Let’s take a look at a few options:

 

  1. Get a standing desk. If your job requires you to stay in one place for a long time, like in an office, switching out your chair for a standing desk could be a perfect solution. Some standing desks even incorporate exercise into them, like treadmills or bikes. You can stretch as you stand and shift your position to keep your muscles working while you work through the day. Try standing for a short time at first and see how your body responds. Then adjust according to your needs.

 

  1. Park farther away than usual when you go out. We all want to nab that perfect up-front parking spot, but unless inclement weather or physical limitations get in the way, there’s really no reason not to park farther away. The extra time it takes to walk from your car to wherever you are going will get your blood flowing. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way.

 

  1. Bike to work or on trips out of the house. If you don’t work too far away, and if the weather permits, riding your bike incorporates exercise into a necessary part of your day—your commute. See how many other trips you can take on your bike, too. Going out for coffee with friends or out to dinner could be great opportunities to get in some exercise. Bike or walk! Chances are that you can replace a lot of trips with more active alternatives. As an added bonus, you can save on gas money while staying healthy.

 

  1. Take the stairs. In addition to parking far away, your activity doesn’t have to end once you get into the building. Leave the elevator for someone who needs it and take the stairs up to your office.

 

  1. Tidy up. Clean your desk, your room, your house—whatever you choose, you’ll have to get up to do it. Even simple tasks like carrying loads of laundry, vacuuming a room, or putting household items back in their proper places will get you up and moving.

 

  1. Get a water cooler and drink more. Getting a water cooler for your kitchen means that you’ll have to stand up and walk to refill your glass every time you need a drink, which will get you off the couch or out of a chair multiple times a day. (Not to mention that upping your water intake will mean more trips to the restroom!)

 

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