When it comes to exercise, most people agree that it’s something that should be done all at once, preferably at the beginning of the day. Most of us think that you have to go to the gym to get a real workout, and that if you don’t schedule it into your day, then you’re just not that serious about exercise. However, a brand new study has shown that small bursts of energy throughout the day can quickly add up, and provide the amount of exercise needed to be healthy. This revolutionary new idea challenges everything that we think we know about what a workout is and how it benefits our bodies.
The study, published in The American Journal of Health Promotion, suggests that daily activities, like yard work, or simply taking the stairs instead of using the elevator, count toward your daily exercise goal. The findings of the study further propose that taking an active lifestyle approach may be just as good for you as a structured traditional exercise plan. It sounds almost too good to be true.
What should we take from this research? That we don’t need to go the gym anymore? Unfortunately, merely taking the steps to work each day is not enough. Like most things in life, it’s just not that simple. Instead of giving up structured exercise completely, what the study suggests is that we look at our everyday lives and find opportunities to add “micro workouts.” Think of it like the Twitter version of a workout; getting fit in 140 characters or less.
Here are 7 tips for taking a more active approach to your life:
- Pace while you’re on the phone. Fidgeting is a great way to burn off calories. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t even notice you’re exercising.
- Use the upstairs bathroom at home, or take the stairs up a couple of floors when nature calls at work.
- Stand up and change the channel on the TV manually instead of using the remote, even though this might be a bit much to ask of anyone in this day and age.
- Park further from the front door. This will help you get a nice little walk, and it can possibly save you some time, as there’s not as much competition for those parking spaces.
- Take an extra lap around the grocery store before you check out. Take the time to stretch your legs, and make sure you got everything on your list.
- Don’t just sit when you have to wait. If you find yourself waiting for your kid’s karate class or soccer practice to end, take a walk around the block.
- Get off the bus or subway earlier than your stop, and walk the rest of the way. This will get your blood flowing and help prepare you to face your day.
There are many opportunities to find time for a micro workout throughout the day; the trick is to always be on the lookout for these opportunities.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.