Are you looking for a way to increase your level of physical activity? Here are my top tips!
If you drive somewhere such as a shopping centre or restaurant, park your car a little bit further away from the entrance so you are walking a bit further to and from your car
If you use public transport, such as a bus or train, to go somewhere such as your place of work, consider getting off a few stops earlier and walking the rest of the way
Use an existing habit as a jumping off point to add some activity to your day. For example, if you eat lunch at a certain time every day, add an extra 10 minutes to go for a walk after you finish your lunch.
Just 10 minutes of activity a day will add up. To build on this, you can be active for 3 or 4 lots of 10 minute blocks a day, such as a 10 minute walk to the bus stop on your way to work, a 10 minute walk after lunch, and going for a 10 minute walk after dinner.
Think about the types of things that are holding you back from being more active. Do you need to be accountable? Then team up with a friend or colleague to go for a walk together or go for a swim, a run, or go to the gym. The physical activity is great, but if you buddy up with someone, you will be accountable and more likely to follow through with your commitment to exercise. You are also getting a social benefit and a connection with others.
Do you need to take up running? Well, if you don't like running, that's okay. Not everyone likes to run, but then find another activity that you enjoy. It could be something like swimming, hiking, Zumba, salsa dancing, surfing, roller skating, tennis, golf, volleyball - the list is endless. Think of the activities that give you joy and try to incorporate those into each day. It could be as simple as playing tag, cricket or soccer with your kids!
Do you intend to go to the gym or go for a run first thing in the morning but you never quite seem to get your act together? Try putting all your exercise clothes and other items out the night before. So for example, put your water bottle, your towel and all your gym clothes and shoes that you intend to wear the next day. When you wake up in the morning, you're ready to go without having to think about anything and just get into your day.
Walking is one of the most underrated physical activities you can do. It's low impact. It's healthy. And if you're doing it outside, you get to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and hopefully some sunshine as well. And pretty much anyone of any age can do it. Aim to look for environments that give you happiness, such as walking by the beach or by another body of water such as a river or lake, a forest, or even inside a shopping centre. Yes, walking in shopping centres is a thing in some parts of the world. For example, in Dubai, there are actually mall walking groups because in summer it's too hot to walk outside.
If you are in environments such as a shopping centre or an apartment building that has stairs as well as elevators and escalators consider using the stairs as your default, even if it is only for one level.
Think about ways you can build activity into existing habits. So for example, if you're cooking dinner or brushing your teeth, piggyback off those activities. Add 10 squats or 10 push ups before, during or after those existing habits