As any physical therapist will tell you: keeping yourself active and in motion is incredibly important for maintaining your long-term health. However, most of us lead very sedentary lives. In addition, you may work 40 hours a week, mostly sitting at a desk all day. On top of that, when not at work we are usually lounging on the couch and staring at the TV, motionless. For some, incorporating exercise into your daily routine isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Often, it’s professional obligations or health conditions that impede us from becoming stronger, healthier and more active. Therefore, it can be difficult for many people to get the exercise they need. In this post, we’ll discuss five simple ways to increase your daily activity – with minimal inconvenience!
1. Allocate Break Times at Work
Do you, like so many of our clients on Long Island, work full-time at a desk job? If so, you should know how critical it is to stand up, stretch and start moving around every so often. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your responsibilities! However, we do recommend allocating specific time frames in which you can exercise freely, without disrupting your work.
Go up and down the stairs a few times. Or, you can walk laps around your office building’s perimeter at lunch. In fact, you can even exercise or stretch at your desk! If you work at home, you likely have less restrictions on what you can do, so take advantage of that freedom!
2. Adopt a Dog (to walk!)
Dogs are a huge responsibility. But, taking care of yourself and maintaining your health is, too. Therefore, adopting a pet (especially a dog) can ultimately be a decision that benefits you physically. Dogs, especially when they’re puppies, require a lot of exercise to exert their boundless energy – mostly through walks. So once a dog is in the house, it will be your job to walk them – and there’s no getting around it. Unless you have someone else walk them (don’t do that), you’ll be getting all of the same exercise that your adorable companion gets, too.
Also, let’s be honest: you’ll definitely enjoy moving a lot more if you’ve got a dog to play with. As an additional bonus: a dog can also reduce your anxiety, depression, and loneliness!
3. Eat Out Less, Eat In More
Take a moment to contemplate things like grocery shopping, pushing the cart around the store, and the post-meal clean-up. These can all collectively add up to a respectable amount of activity.
If you stay home and prepare meals in your own kitchen, it doesn’t just get you eating healthier. Also, it’s a simple way to stay on your feet and burn off a few extra calories.
4. Mandatory Daily Walks
Of course, it’s not exactly a secret: walking everyday is a fantastic way to exercise. However, are you genuinely seizing every opportunity to walk that presents itself to you? Are you going up and down your house’s staircase? Are you choosing to take the stairs up to your apartment, instead of the elevator? Do you pull into a parking lot and eagerly search for the closest possible spot? Or are you consciously choosing to park further away, to get the extra steps in?
Even morning trips to and from your mailbox, instead of taking the mail from your car on the way to work, can make a huge difference.
Need some more motivation? Take a look at the tips for walking more often every day:
Choose Comfortable Shoes
Are your feet continuously in pain because of poorly-fitting shoes? Then you’ll certainly have trouble committing to a daily walk. Consult with a physical therapist about the ideal footwear for you!
Count Your Steps
A pedometer’s a low-tech, relatively inexpensive item that calculates every step you take throughout the day. It’s a very reliable (and, honestly, pretty fun) way to track your progress and data.
Walk With Someone
Everyone (even the most passionate fitness addicts) have their “off” days, when they don’t feel like lifting a finger to exercise. However, these are the days when it’s most essential to have your designated “walking buddy.” You’ll know you chose wisely when they aggravate you on the days you’d rather do anything else but walk.
But establishing systems of accountability is a crucial part of this process!
5. Physical Therapy
One of the most fantastic benefits of physical therapy is the individual care and attention every patient receives. Basically, a physical therapist develops every treatment plan after a thorough assessment of that patient during their first visit, and what exercises, stretches and at-home work-outs will fulfill their specific, singular needs the most.
Therefore, a physical therapist’s exercise routine will improve your stamina, strength, and flexibility more than other exercises would. Whether it’s enhanced athleticism or a lot more ease with completing ordinary daily tasks, physical therapy is the ideal solution for everyone trying to improve their health.
Additionally, physical therapy can help reduce the consequences of long-term injuries with ongoing pain, as well as the pain from chronic conditions like arthritis. Even for those in fantastic health, physical therapy can help maintain high activity levels and feel much more naturally energetic, during and long after your treatment.