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How to Add More Movement to Your Day

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

One of the most common topics I address as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach is how to increase a person's physical activity. It is a common misconception that you have to work out hard for an hour every day to be fit. In actuality, you just need to move your body throughout the day to see benefits. Increasing your physical activity can benefit every part of your body from increasing your mood and energy and decreasing skeletomuscular pain.

There are many ways to fit physical activity into your day. You can take a walk, use the stairs, do a few calf raises as you drink your coffee. A little bit here and there goes a long way and adds up. Once a week or daily you can walk or ride your bike to work or school. When you go to the grocery store, you can park farther away and walk to the store. When you meet a friend for coffee, take your cup to go and walk while you talk. Are the kids getting antsy? Go for a family bike, walk, roller skate, scooter, etc.

Even if you are a consistent exerciser every morning, but then sit at your desk for 8 hours, you may not be realizing the full benefit of your workout. If you are at your desk for most of the day, there are many ways to increase physical activity through the day with out getting sweaty. You can take a break each hour for 5 minutes and walk around, or do a short circuit of squats, push ups and crunches. Your break could include stretches for your hip flexors and chest. Maybe you have a coworker or housemate that also needs to move more. The two of you could take a mid-day or afternoon walk for 20 minutes. Not only will you benefit from the activity, but you'll get some social time and sun light.

If you like traditional exercises, a short mid afternoon strength circuit is a great way to get the blood flowing. A great place to start is a set of 10 squats or lunges, 10 pushups, 30 second plank and 10 tricep dips. Or pick 3 or 4 of your favorite exercises and do 1 to 3 sets a day. You can even spread it out over the course of the afternoon. Moving your body can be just as effective against fatigue mid-afternoon as a cup of coffee.

When you get to the end of the day and you're not feeling like getting your heart rate up, stretching can be a great way to move your body and wind down for the day. Some muscle groups to stretch before bed include your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, quads and chest. The nice thing about stretching is that you can watch TV or read a book at the same time. No wasted time or excuses.

If you need help brainstorming and motivating I am happy to work with you to increase your daily movement. Together we can find strategies and create a plan that fits your lifestyle.

Woman riding her bike along Ocean Beach
Morgan riding her bike at Ocean Beach. Photo by Sarah Montoya

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