Tips for Increasing Lifestyle Activity
Every little movement counts! Make everyday routines like shopping or going to work another chance to get active
Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference
Lifestyle activity is not the same as planned exercise. When you think of "exercise," you might think of organized activities, like aerobics or running. Lifestyle activity is simple activity that you can do in your daily routine in line with your healthcare provider’s suggestions. One example is using stairs instead of an elevator.
Lifestyle activity can have many advantages; it can be: easy, not hurt, not require special equipment, and become a habit with little effort. Regular physical activity can make you feel better physically and mentally.
You could build in activity throughout your day. Here are some ideas you may want to follow:
- Use the stairs. Stairs are often nearby. Climbing stairs burns more calories per minute than a casual stroll. If you work on the 5th floor, you could take the elevator to the 4th floor, and walk up the last flight. If your fitness improves, try to get off on lower floors
- Park farther away. When you drive to the mall, try not to circle around looking for a spot by the door. You could park farther away and walk
- Walk more. If you take the bus, you could get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way. At home, you may not want to bring all your groceries in at once; try to take a few trips up the stairs instead
Every activity counts
Give yourself credit for all of the lifestyle activity changes you may have accomplished. Everything you do that’s physical can count as an activity. If you use a pedometer, keeping track is much easier. Some pedometers measure how far you walk or how many steps you take.
If you do housework, you could turn on a timer and keep moving. You could use the vacuum an extra day each week. Try to time yourself as you wash the car, rake the leaves, or mow the lawn—you may be surprised at how fast the minutes go by. These are just a few examples. Think of others, consult with your healthcare provider, and fit in your routine.
More lifestyle activity can mean better health. It also can make you feel better. Give yourself a pat on the back when you do something good. Record your lifestyle activities in your exercise tracker—and congratulate yourself for your efforts!