We all know that physical activity is important for a healthy lifestyle, but do you realize that sitting all day is actually detrimental to your health? Recent studies indicate that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risks of heart attack, stroke, and metabolic syndromes. While many people are too busy to put in extended hours at the gym, there are simple changes you can make in your daily routine that will increase your physical activity and improve your health.
Each Step Counts
Even if you cannot make it to the gym, you can increase the number of steps you take each day by choosing to take the stairs, parking further from the entrance at work or when running errands, or taking an evening stroll after dinner. If you want to record your improvement, you can invest in a pedometer to count your steps every day. It can also be a great motivator towards better health.
Choose Active or Public Transportation
If possible, try changing your daily commute to include more physical activity. For those who live close to work, you can hang up your car keys and ride your bicycle to work. If you use public transportation such as the bus or metro, get off a few stops early and walk the last few blocks.
For those who stand by the excuse that they do not have time to go to the gym, you can still take a few minutes to do daily exercise at your desk. This can be anything from running in place at your desk for 60 seconds several times a day, to doing some lunges across the room, or strength exercises. Many strength building exercises, such as squats, push-ups, leg extensions and lifts, and stretches, can be done by utilizing your office equipment.
Whether you choose to join a gym or begin an active exercise routine, always consult with your doctor, especially if you have existing medical conditions. No matter what you choose, increasing your activity on a daily basis is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle.