You’ve read or been told that you should be walking at least 10,000 steps a day (about five miles) as part of a fit, healthy lifestyle. You’d love to get that amount of exercise (if not more) every day, but you have an office job and spend most of your workday at your desk, so how can you move more? There are many simple ways that you can be more active every day, even during the week with a packed schedule. Here are several suggestions to get you started.
Top Movement Tips
1. If you work in an office with an elevator, and you’re able to use the stairs, skip the elevator.
2. Rather than send an email to a colleague, take a walk to her desk.
3. Take a walk at lunch, before, or after work.
4. If you use public transportation, get off a stop or two before your usual stop for home or the office, and walk the rest of the way.
5. When you go to a store, park further away so that you have to walk extra steps. Bonus exercising at the store: If you are not getting food or drinks that need to be refrigerated, frozen, or kept warm, walk up and down a few additional aisles, or do a final lap around the entire store before paying for your groceries. Complete some calf raises as you wait in line.
6. Take a walk with friends rather than joining a happy hour.
7. Spend an hour during the week outside doing yard work.
8. If you feel hungry, drink some water, and take a quick walk to see whether your hunger subsides. (You may be thirsty rather than hungry.)
9. Do wall sits while brushing your teeth.
10. Do some quick exercises while you are preparing meals (waiting for that pot to boil or the microwave to go off), watching TV, or walking your dog (take a shortcut through the park; use the monkey bars or hop on a swing).
11. Do a circuit of your home while you are talking on the telephone.
12. Exercise while you are watching your child at an extracurricular activity.
Tips to keep in mind while walking
1. Pay attention to your posture.
You want to stand up as straight and tall as you are able, keep your shoulders back but relaxed, with your feet pointed forward.
2. Maintain your target heart rate.
You don’t need to overexert yourself while walking, but you should try to reach and sustain your target heart rate. In order to find your target heart rate, first, you need to find your maximum heart rate—the maximum number of times per minute that your heart should beat. To find that number, subtract your age from 220. Your target heart rate for moderate intensity activity, according to the American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 50–70 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you have questions or concerns about your cardiovascular health, check with your doctor.
3. You do not need to walk 10,000 steps all at once.
Take several shorter walks during the day, during which you reach your target heart rate and sustain it for 10 minutes. You should be able to carry on a conversation, but not sing your favorite song.
4. Listen to music.
Music is a great motivator to get up and move. Create a playlist of your favorite songs that make you want to get up and move around; solicit friends’ recommendations, or look online for fitness playlists.
5. Don’t sweat your sweat (or lack of it).
Most people erroneously think that if they haven’t sweated a lot during exercise that they didn’t exercise correctly, long enough, or hard enough. Some people sweat a lot, but some people don’t sweat much at all. Sweating is dependent upon climate, age, gender, and fitness. The important thing is to get up and get walking!
Visit Elite Training Tulsa to find more information about fitness and to learn about the personal training services that we offer. We look forward to helping you work toward achieving your fitness goals!