There are many benefits when it comes to staying active. From improving mood to getting better sleep, here’s why staying active is the best thing you can do today…or any day.
WALK YOUR WAY TO FITNESS
Walking for just 25 minutes a day can add a whopping 7 years to your life, according to the European Society of Cardiology Congress. Walking can be a way to take a break from work if you are working from home. At the time of writing, in the UK, we are allowed to go out once a day (alone or with members of household) to exercise provided we have at least 2m distance from anyone. This could change so please make sure that you are check the latest Government guidelines before stepping out the house.
GRAB A BUDDY
We know that working out with friends is one of the best ways to stay motivated. Whilst it may not be possible in the current situation to see a friend, you can always do a video call and spur each other on through a workout together! Not only is it more fun exercising with friends, research suggests we work out for six minutes longer with friends than when alone, plus we burn an extra 40 calories. That’s because time flies when you’re having fitness fun with friends! If there is someone at home you can workout with, then you can encourage them to do your workouts together too.
ON SMALL STEP, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR FITNESS
You don’t have to make huge changes to your lifestyle to reap the benefits of exercise. Here are a few of our favourite healthy habits that are easy to implement and will make a big difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.
Every step counts. Never forget that some movement is better than no movement. Even if you don’t have 30 minutes free for a full workout, short bursts of movement throughout the day will bring immense health benefits. The problems of sitting for long periods are said to include an increased risk of diabetes or heart disease, and shorten your lifespan. So, try setting an alarm to go off hourly but keep the alarm in another room or away from your desk, forcing you to get up and stretch your legs just to turn it off. Walking also makes us happier as it releases feel-good endorphins, so your three sets of 10 minutes will leave you with a natural high throughout the day.
Say goodbye to shortcuts. Sure, when you’re in a hurry, shortcuts are your best friend, but there are no shortcuts to getting fit. So, where possible, when going somewhere by foot take the long way round so you’re moving for longer. Sure, it might take a little more time to get to your destination but all of the extra steps will turn into healthy benefits.
Stairway to fitness. Climbing stairs increases your core muscle strength, helps lower your bad cholesterol level, and burns 15 calories for every three flights of stairs, according to research by The University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center. If you have stairs at home you can use this as a tool to get your steps in!
Stand up for fitness. Try and sneak more reasons to stand into your day. For example, use a smaller cup or water bottle so you have to get up more to re-fill it.
Step it up a gear. Once you’ve introduced regular walking and movement into your life, take your fitness up a gear by increasing the speed of your walk or take two stairs at a time instead of one. Just make sure to follow the Government guidelines throughout this period.