While having your main exercise routine is recommended it does require allocated time. However, there is an alternative way to increase your daily activity. It’s called incidental activity, and it’s the things you don’t necessarily schedule in or spend a lot of time doing. Instead, these are the tiny active things, which add up during your day to make a big difference to your wellbeing.
Here are some ideas for increasing your incidental activity.
Walk part of your commute
Instead of driving the whole way to work, try parking a little way from the office and walk or cycle the rest of the way.
Suggest an alternative to coffee catch-ups
Catching up with friends is fabulous, but it doesn’t always have to involve sitting still. Suggest a walk and a chat next time.
Stand on public transport
If you catch public transport to work, try standing up for the trip. The shorter the amount of time you sit during the day, the better.
Step away from the email
Next time you’re sending an email to a colleague, hop up and walk over to speak with them instead.
Watch TV differently
Sitting down to relax is lovely, but it’s worth breaking up that time by getting active. Do some squats, lunges and push-ups at intervals during your favourite shows.
Play at the park
Playing is for kids, right? Wrong! Instead of supervising your children as they play, join in. It’s great for increasing your daily activity and it’ll make you all laugh, too.
Do the housework
The house has to be cleaned and you need to keep active: it’s a perfect match. It might not be the most fun incidental activity around, but it still counts.
Set little rules and prompts to stand up
Maybe you’ll choose to stand up whenever you text people or walk around when you talk on the phone.
Carry your grocery shopping
Instead of wheeling a trolley to your car, carry your reusable bags out. (Unless, of course, your shopping is heavy enough to be a strain.) For extra benefits, park further away from the shop’s entrance.
Put your phone in another room
Keeping your phone away from you encourages you to have a micro walk every time you need to use it.
Bigger chunks of sweaty exercise are important, but so are these smaller moments that add more active movement into your daily.