Working from home is the new normal for many of us. It’s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future for many of us, too. While there are many benefits to the new WFH life, it does make life a bit more… sedentary.
Whether you used to walk to the bus stop, get off one stop too early, rattle up and down the stairs, walk around the block at lunch or whatever else to get in those extra paces – you’re probably not doing those any more.
We all know walking (and moving a bit more often in general) is good for us. Mayo Clinic says a bit of brisk walking every day can help maintain a healthy weight and manage conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. It's also great for strengthening bones and muscle and can have a positive impact on your mood.
All good and well when life is ‘normal’ – but what if you’re not allowed outside to go for that walk? Or if you’re now mainly working from home and the ways you used to get in those extra steps just aren’t happening?
It might feel impossible to reach your 10 000 steps goal every day, but it’s not – even if you are in a tiny apartment. People have been running marathons on their balconies during in lockdown, 10 000 steps should be a breeze.
Not convinced? Try these tips.
Set reminders for every hour
At a very rough estimate, 1000 steps equals about 800ms. Aim to get to 1000 steps before you start work and then set a reminder to get another 1000 in every hour. Finish the day with your final 1000 steps at a beverage of your choosing to celebrate (if you like). And that’s assuming you do absolutely nothing else all day than go from your bed to your WFH set up.
Getting up to make a cup of coffee or use the bathroom? Walk there and back and there and back again before doing what you intend to do. It might feel insignificant in the short-term, but these little things all add up at the end of the day. And hey, if you’re looking to creatively procrastinate, do the walk three, four, five, six… however many times.
Step up your exercise
Don’t exercise harder, just smarter. Whatever your daily exercise routine, try and work in movements that include steps. Whether you’re running or banging out a backyard HIIT session – steps can be squeezed in everywhere. Even if you tend to follow a more low-key workout routine, look at ways to modify movements to add some steps - even something as simple as walking on the spot during your rest intervals.
Not in the run as fast as you can way. When you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, wander around. Talking on the phone, pace. Even better – invest in a standing desk and try walk on the spot while you’re getting your creative juices flowing.
Dance, dance, dance
Ah we can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're are no friends of mine
With no apologies to Men Without Hats, dancing is a great way to add to your steps tally. You don’t need a partner to boogie. Breakout your favourite tunes and dance, dance, dance. No routine needed, just do it for the boogie.
If you’re looking for a way to get steps in quickly in a tight space or with limited time, a skipping rope is a great way to crank things up a notch.
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