Friday, September 12, 2014

9 Easy Ways to be More Active Today

School’s back in session, and chances are you’re spending the majority of your day on your bum. Even if you’ve got a job that requires you to stand all day long --like me-- your 9 to 5 isn’t doing your body much good. Whether you're a hard charging athlete or a self-proclaimed couch potato, increasing your daily activity level will improve your health and help you achieve your fitness goals.

I chatted up my favorite personal trainer and lifestyle coach (and boyfriend) Michael Bryson Wilson on how to add in more activity throughout the day. This is what I learned:

  • Instead of calorie-laden brunch/dinner/drinks dates with your friends, focus your meet-up around an activity such as yoga, a walk through the park, or even something silly like Laser Tag. Your get-together doesn’t have to be food-centric!
  •  Play outside! Dance around the kitchen! Try to add in more fun, goofy moments to your day. You'll be happier and healthier.

  •  Always take the stairs. Increase your heart rate, tighten your bum, and tone your quads while you’re getting from Point A to Point B.
  • Park further away. This is an easy way to sneak more exercise into your daily routine and you’ll avoid nasty parking battles and door dings.
  • Ride your bike or walk to a destination instead of driving. If your trip is less than two miles and you won’t need to carry anything obnoxiously heavy or cumbersome, try to make your trip to the grocery store, school, etc. without your cushy car. 
  • Fill your weekends with fun outdoorsy activities instead of the standard movie date and window-shopping excursions. Our new favorites: Biking, hiking, swimming, paddle-boarding, surfing, walking the dog.
  • Stand up as much as you can. Take a few laps around the office, stand while you place a phone call, or walk during your break. Being immobile for long periods of time slows down blood flow. Sitting shortens your hip flexors, changes your posture, and puts you at higher risk for blood clots and deep-vein thombrosis.
  • Rest in the deep squat, "3rd world", or "paleo chair" position as often as possible. This can feel weird at first, but try to make it a habit. Even five minutes in this position a day can do wonders for your body. Try to rack up the minutes throughout the day while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, texting, watching TV, etc.
  • Go for a walk outside as often as possible. This has the added bonus of being a major stress-reliever and getting you your daily dose of Vitamin D. The outdoors are humans’ natural habitat, so try not to lock yourself in your apartment all day. Our ancestors walked upwards of 20 miles per day and our bodies developed with the same metabolic processes, but even a mile here and there is great.

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