Did you know that that 60% of all Australians are not getting the recommended amount of exercise thanks to the sedentary lifestyle we lead? This causes all sorts of health complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Physical activity, on the other hand, is a major factor in preventing and reducing the risk of many of these conditions. No wonder that our health professionals urge you to get moving and make incidental exercise part and parcel of your daily life.
So, what exactly is Incidental Exercise (or Incidental Activity)? As the name suggests, is any physical activity you do during the course of the day. It is unstructured activity such as walking to catch public transport, doing household chores, etc. In most cases, these activities don’t cost a thing (in fact, they can save you money) and are easy to get done. As mundane as these tasks may seem, they give us a great opportunity to get healthier.
Here are some easy ways to add incidental exercise to your daily life:
- Stand more, sit less
- Walk up/down a flight of stairs instead of taking the lift
- Do some gardening – rake the leaves, mow the lawn, pull up the weeds, plant something new
- Cycle or walk to work
- Move and stretch while watching TV
- Stand on the bus or train rather than sit
- Do a 20-minute cleaning blitz around the house – you’ll have a neater home and will have moved a few muscles
- Walk to the bus stop or train station
- Walk around the field while you’re watching your kids play sport on the weekend
- Leave the car at home and walk wherever you can
- Play with your children or grand-children
- Get up every 30 minutes from your desk – either to go to the bathroom, fill up your water bottle, or even collect printing
- Stand up when making phone calls
- Get off the bus a few stops earlier than your destination and walk the rest of the way
- Meet friends for a walk instead of catching up at a café
- If you have a small amount of grocery shopping, use a shopping basket instead of a trolley and carry your own shopping bags. By doing this, you’ll give your upper body a workout
- Park your car further away from your destination (a friend’s house, the shopping centre) and take a brisk walk
- Walk the dog
- Do your own house work instead of hiring help – vacuuming, mopping, window cleaning all burn plenty of calories
- Get an app on your phone or a Fitbit as an activity tracker to see how much you move every day (the recommended amount is 10,000 steps per day)
Just remember: Incidental activity doesn’t replace planned exercise, but these two forms of activity can work together to increase your physical activity level. The difference between incidental and planned exercise is where and when they are performed. Incidental activity requires no gym, special equipment or preparation. By moving throughout the day, you can start engage in incidental activity anywhere and anytime you want.
Get in touch with us today!
If you’d like advice on incidental exercise that is right for you, contact our team today on 99081949 or book your appointment below.