So the gym isn’t an option, and you can’t take any workout classes. How do you stay active? Whether you work from home or simply don’t like exercising outside, you still have plenty of options to stay active. Simple life changes can keep you fit even without a gym membership. Simple changes, such as choosing the stairs and sitting on a different chair, could improve your physical health. Research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that ten more minutes of exercise can extend your life. Learn how you can activate those ten minutes while you’re at home.
Stay On Top Of Your Chores
Any physical activity can extend your lifespan. In 2017, research in The Lancet concluded that people who do more chores have healthier hearts. Doing the laundry, washing the dishes, scrubbing in the bath– all can burn up to 200 calories if you do them for a while.
However, chores don’t replace a full exercise session. Irish scientists noted that relying on chores for exercise makes people heavier. Although housework isn’t as sufficient as going to the gym, it can still increase your physical activity and mood.
If You Can, Stand While Working
Standing up more during your workday could do wonders for your health. In the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a study discovered that employees with standing desks burned more calories. If you don’t have a standing desk, getting up for five to ten minutes per hour may make a difference.
“A little change like standing instead of sitting can go a long way,” says personal trainer Rich Gaspari. Because standing places strain on your legs, it burns 50% more calories than sitting, he explains. Time to stand up!
Master At-Home Workouts
Can you manage a good workout at home? Yes, says Kevin Steele, an exercise physiologist and vice president of 24 Hour Fitness. With a yoga mat or some dumbbells, you can transfer your gym training to your house. “The key thing is that you do something, somewhere, sometime,” Steele told WebMD.
Exercise physiologist Richard Weil recommends following this format: warm-up, aerobic work, strength-building, stretching, and then cool down. But a quick walk and some strength training can also keep you fit without the gym.
There are dozens of exercises that you can perform while sitting at your desk. Personal trainer Badrul Islam suggests doing push-ups using your desk, or trying “knee tucks.” Sit on the edge of your chair, touch your ankles together, and lift your knees to your chest. You can also buy tools that are built for desk exercise (or deskercise).
For instance, you can buy an elliptical, bike pedal, or left swing tools that sit underneath your desk. When you’re feeling fidgety, try some exercises.
Schedule Your Workout Time (And Write It Down!)
Decide when you want to work out, and write down your plan. Although many people consider a time and place, few write it down. In 2018, researchers concluded that people who record their goals are 1.4 times more likely to succeed at them.
While planning your exercise routine, pinpoint when you’ll work out, where you’ll do it, what you’ll do, and how long it’ll take. After you write all this down, you’ll be far more likely to pull through because you’ll remember it better.
Always Choose The Stairs
Walking more can make all the difference to your physical health. According to research in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, climbing stairs to get a snack improved participants’ fitness. Further research by Harvard concluded that people who choose the stairs have longer lifespans.
“Walking more does have added value, especially when you walk briskly for a longer duration, up hills, or use your arms for more than just a comfortable gait and swing them with your body,” says fitness expert Debra Gray. When you have to choose between the stairs and the elevator, pick the stairs!
Pair Workouts With The TV
If you listen to a podcast or watch TV while exercising, don’t stop. In 2018, a study in the journal Appetite concluded that people who work out while watching TV have a more positive experience. They were more likely to exercise longer and more frequently with some entertainment.
Researchers from Columbia University suggest that TV watching could be the worst type of sitting. Those who watched TV for four hours a day are 50% more likely to get a heart attack or stroke. Lower your odds by exercising while watching.
Dress The Part
What you wear influences how you think. In 2012, researchers at Rice University discovered that clothes could change our mindset. For instance, participants who worked in lab coats paid more attention during meetings, while those in a painter’s coat did not.
The same applies to exercise. If you dress up in workout clothes, you’ll feel more empowered to get active. But if you wear pajamas, you won’t. “It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing,” said lead researcher Hajo Adam.
Sit On An Exercise Ball, But Not For The Whole Day
If you don’t have a standing desk, you can sit on a workout ball for a certain amount of time every day. “Sitting on it forces you to stabilize your abs,” personal trainer Amanda Russell told Everyday Health. It “kickstarts” your abs and can lend you a brief workout.
However, don’t plan to sit on that ball all day. In 2006, Canadian researchers at Waterloo University noted that exercise balls did strain the abs. They noted that working the full day sitting on a ball may be too tiring. You can start off with ten to 20 minutes of sitting on the ball per day.
Take Walking Meetings
Do you take phone calls or Facetime meetings? If so, talk while moving around. A daily brief walk can enhance your health and lower your risk of chronic diseases, according to a study by the University of Miami. “Walking meetings” can give you some much-needed physical activity.
Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez, co-author of a pilot study on walking meetings, says that they have many benefits. Not only do they advance heart health, but they also boost your mood. A brief walk-and-talk can also increase your productivity levels.