It’s time to stop thinking of daily exercise as a demanding routine that you can’t fit into your life. Instead, it should be something you enjoy and fits your fitness level. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Sometimes all it takes is a little movement. Movement is one of the most powerful ways to improve your health. It doesn’t have to be a high-impact, sweat inducing exercise. Whether you decide to add small movements into your routine, or try a new activity like cycling or yoga, you can easily upgrade your overall health.
Why You Should Make Movement Part of Your Daily Routine
Want to live happy and healthy for years? The answer is as simple as getting your body moving every day. Even when you know that you should be exercising, getting up and actually doing it can be hard. Here are seven reasons to start moving today.
1. Weight loss
Over the years, research has consistently shown us that inactivity is one of the key contributors to weight gain and obesity. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to keep these conditions at bay. The more active you are, the more your metabolism will be stimulated, which is the rate at which your body extracts energy from food. This process will slow down as you age, but staying active can help maintain a healthy metabolism at any age.
2. Better sleep
Movement and exercise can cause the body to release endorphins, which are chemicals that can keep us up at night. Depending on the intensity, movement will also expend energy, which means your body will need rest to recover. To improve your sleep and vitality further, make sure your mattress is supportive and consider ergonomic pillows that support you in all the right places; the right neck support will lead to fewer aches and pains and also help improve sleep through sinus drainage and relieving sleep apnea.
3. Reduces pain
Chronic pain can often be debilitating. It may seem counterintuitive, but moving more can actually reduce your pain more than bedrest ever could. This is because physical activity helps to break your brain and body out of a continuous pain-signalling loop. It’s best to stick to low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling and stretching if you’re living with chronic pain. Even taking a walk around the house can help. While you may feel discomfort during physical activity, you shouldn’t feel intense pain. If you do, there’s no harm in stopping and waiting until you feel a little better to resume the activity.
4. Improves mental health
As we know, exercise releases endorphins, AKA the “happy hormone”. When these hormones are released, they create feelings of happiness and wellbeing. People with depression often have lower than normal levels of endorphins. Increasing your physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in improving your mood and managing these conditions.
5. Better concentration and sharper memory
Exercise is more than just a way to keep your body healthy. It actually has cognitive benefits, too! Not only does it increase your energy and mood, but it also helps you think better by increasing the release of endorphins. Additionally, research shows physical activity can stimulate the growth of new brain cells and improve neuronal health by improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
Tips to Move More During Your Day
As it turns out, the antidote to sitting disease is not formal exercise sessions. New research shows that just being up and about throughout the day can be healthier than doing a rigorous workout and then sitting for the rest of the day. Here are some simple ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine.
1. Pick up the pace
Moving more can be as simple as walking faster. Speeding up will burn more calories and strengthen the muscles in your legs. Walking faster is also good for your heart and lungs, alongside mental wellbeing.
2. Tidy your home daily
Instead of waiting until the weekend, take some time to tidy up every day. Activities like dusting, vacuuming and washing windows are all great calorie-burners. Adding an extra hour of clean-up per week will not only improve your health, but your home too.
3. Try a standing desk
If you work from home, it can be easy to lose track of the hours you spend sitting at your desk. With a standing desk, you can alternate between sitting and standing every hour, without having to step away from your work.
4. Take the stairs
A lot of people say they don’t have the time to walk the stairs. But two minutes of walking up and down can burn as many calories as a 36-minute walk. So, set yourself a quota – say, 60 stairs per day (a typical staircase has 10 steps).
5. Exercise while seated
Whether sitting in front of the TV or at your desk, there are still ways you can move! Try interlocking your fingers, turning your palms outward and stretching your arms. You can also keep your body’s circulation healthy by rotating your shoulders, neck and ankles.