Like most people, you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Whether it is in your car, at your desk, or on the couch, studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day. The American Medical Association says that sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health. For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says cardiologist Martha Grogan. Luckily, it’s easy to counter the negative effects of sitting by simply moving more. Here are a few simple ways to add more activity into your day.
#1 Take the stairs
Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, hit the stairs. You’ll burn calories and tone your lower body at the same time.
#2 Park farther away
Instead of looking for the closest parking spot, choose one that’s furthest away. Not only will you find a parking spot much faster, but you’ll also get in some walking time that will help you stay in shape.
Cleaning your house or apartment regularly is another way to ensure that you stay active throughout the week. “Cleaning your house can incorporate a variety of muscle groups without you even realizing it,” says Dr. Gaspari. “Dragging around a heavy vacuum isn’t an easy task, especially if you are going up and down stairs.” Gaspari recommends going a step further and trying to “squeeze your buns every time you take a step.” While you’re taking a break, try tightening your abdominal muscles for a period of time throughout each hour, he adds.
#4 Go out with friends
A bar or coffee shop is usually where we meet friends to catch up. Instead of a sedentary get-together, which packs on empty calories and temptation to eat or drink more fatty foods or drinks, why not try an activity you can do together that burns calories, like going for a walk, spending the night dancing, or a fitness class like spin or yoga.
Just because your favorite TV show is on doesn’t mean you have to sit idly on the couch watching it. Why not squeeze in some exercise during commercial breaks or even while watching the show, for example, you can try some jumping jacks, pushups, planks, and sit-ups or even stand in place.