The older we get, the more likely we are to lapse into a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, an estimated 67% of older adults report sitting for more than eight hours per day, and only 28% to 34% of adults ages 65 to 74 are physically active, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
A sedentary life can affect your health negatively in many ways. On the flip side, squeezing in extra movement during the day can have a big positive impact. For instance, simply standing more can help you lose weight and keep it off. Also, activities that incorporate more walking also can build up your leg muscles, which may help you live longer.
Here are a few ways to move more during everyday life, without having to block more time out of your busy schedule –
- Take the stairs- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator increases your heart rate, helps with balance, and improves lower-extremity strength.
- Walk meetings- Walking together enhances team bonding and even boosts creativity and enhances mental acuity.
- Lunges- While shopping, try walking lunges down the supermarket aisles while holding onto the cart, it offers a good balance point, and you can get about 10–20 lunges in a single pass.
- Sit on Exercise Ball- It helps with back pain and help improve posture, you can even do some gentle mobility stretches for your neck, pelvis, and spine.
- Park Far Away- Parking further from the entrance will add a few minutes of walking time and can increase your daily step count.
- Foster a Pet- You get to increase your time outside, help a dog, teach your kids about caring for others, and spend some quality family time being active and moving your body.
Exercise doesn’t always have to be intense to be effective, and there are many opportunities in your daily life to sneak in extra movement. You just need to do it.