Moving More for Better Mind and Body Health
Here's one simple tip for better mind and body health: move more! Staying active is good for joint health and bone health, and moving more may improve your mood and happiness. Research suggests that engaging in physical activity can release endorphins and other feel-good hormones that contribute to positive mental health.1
If you can’t fit in a full workout every day (or even if you do) you can still benefit from adding more activity to your daily routine through small changes. Here are a few ways to get moving every day.
Simple Tips to Help You Move More
Try Mini Workouts
Think you don’t have time to work out? Think again! Not every workout requires gym clothes, fancy equipment or a big chunk of time. You can fit mini workouts into your day more easily than you might expect. In just a few minutes, you can fit in a set of squats, pushups, a 30-second plank hold, and even a few crunches. Imagine what you can accomplish by taking a few 5- or 10-minute mini-workout breaks each day, then go and do them!
Sneak in a Stealthy Set
Little steps may add up to big changes. Find ways to fit in more movement while you do other things.
- Do a set of squats while brushing your teeth or drying your hair
- Try lunges or hold on to a counter and do some leg lifts while you wait for a kitchen timer (or water to boil!)
- You can even do light stretching exercises while you check your email (and delete all that junk mail!)
- Remember to walk or pace while you chat with someone on the phone
Everyone’s routine is different, so think about how you might sneak a little more movement into your day and write a few options down to help you remember throughout the day.
Find Excuses to Walk More
According to research, most healthy adults should get in around 10,000 steps per day.2 That target number varies based on age and overall health, but experts agree that walking is good for you. Low impact exercises like walking support joint health, bone health and overall wellness. Here are low-impact ways to achieve more steps every day:
- Skip the closest parking spot and park farther away from the door
- Complete errands on foot when you can
- Take the stairs as often as possible
- Start a family habit of going for a walk after dinner
- Volunteer to pick up litter in the neighborhood
- Enlist a walking buddy (either human or four-legged)
- Go window shopping or walk around the local mall
- Get off your bus or train a stop early and walk a few extra blocks to your destination
Move More at Work
Your job may keep you on your toes, but not necessarily on your feet. If you work a desk job it can be challenging to get more activity in your day. Here are a few ways to get you up and moving more at work:
- Opt for a standing desk if you can
- Set an interval timer at your desk to help you stand up and stretch every 30 minutes
- Take short walk breaks when possible, even if it just means a lap around the office floor
- Go for a walk on your lunch break
- Trek up and down the stairwell for a few minutes on break
- Go the long way when you get coffee and visit the restroom
Moving more at work can help you feel more alert and productive, so you’ll be more energized and be more positive, which just might help you get more done.
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Do you have tips for getting more movement in your daily routine? Tell us in the comments below.
About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products
Lindsey is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for pie. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food. Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1 7 Hidden Benefits of Exercise. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/7-invisible-ways-exercise-improves-your-life#1 (Accessed 12/28/2017)
2 How many steps/day are enough? for adults: US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3197470/ (Accessed 12/27/2017)