10 ways to be more active

Article Feb 1, 2016

Exercise doesn’t have to mean scheduled gym visits. There are plenty of ways to up your fitness levels in everyday life too

1 Choose the furthest corner

Instead of fighting for parking spots closest to the supermarket doors, park your car as far away as possible. This gives you the opportunity to walk further, for longer – and it’s less stressful, too.

2 Skip the lift

Stop taking the lift and take the stairs instead. It’ll get your heart pumping and body moving to build your fitness levels, plus climbing the stairs requires your bum, thigh and calf muscles to engage, helping to tone and sculpt your legs – a win-win!

3 Walk the last stop

If you commute to work by bus, jump off one stop early – or even two! – to increase
the distance you walk. Not only will this
add in some extra cardio exercise to your
day – particularly if you march at a fast pace – it’ll burn a few extra calories, too.  

4 Get pedalling

Boost your fitness by cycling to and from work. It’s a great way to get two cardio workouts into your day without having to take time out to exercise. Cycling is also a great way to tone up and keep those calories burning

 5 Use your lunch hour

Instead of staying glued to your computer screen, use your lunch hour for some retail therapy or a wander in the park. Just 20 minutes walking around the block, will help perk you up and boost your motivation. And, of course, it will add that extra bit of physical activity into your day. In fact, according to a recent study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
in California, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Walk on!

6 Leave your car at home

If you have kids, walk them to school instead of driving, if it’s close enough. Not only will you start your day with a spring in your step, but walking to school will also encourage your kids to be more active, and it also helps reduce pollution. If walking isn’t an option, why not take them to the park after school or to the swings to play? And make sure you run around as much as your kids do!

7 Stand up more!

While talking on the phone, whether at home or in the office, get out of your chair and stand up or pace up and down. As well as helping you to focus on the conversation, this can have real benefits for your health. A study by Dr John Buckley and a team of researchers from the University of Chester proved that standing for a total of three hours each day will burn up an extra 144 calories. Over a year, that adds up to about 30,000 more calories or eight pounds of fat!

8 Be a tourist

Instead of the usual catch-up over coffee and cake or dinner, why not arrange
a jog around the park with a friend instead
or book onto a sightseeing tour around your nearest city. You’ll still have a chance to chat, but you’ll get in a bit of extra cardio, too.

9 Get your groove on

Spending your evenings slumped in front of the TV after a stressful day at work? Why not create a playlist of some of your favourite songs and have a dance around your bedroom for 15 minutes (or longer!) instead? Or look up dance classes you can join in your area. Not only does dancing
help boost self-confidence, but it’s a great chance to get a sweat on and burn some extra calories. A study published by the American Council on Exercise found that dance-based workouts can burn 200-400 calories per hour – almost as much as you burn swimming, cycling or walking. 

10 Invest in a pedometer

Record the number of steps you take each day with a pedometer. Then challenge yourself to increase the number every day or have a competition with your partner
or friend to see who can bank the most steps. This will boost your motivation
and get you more active