Many people struggle to find time for exercise. Modern life is just too busy. Luckily, there are ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. From taking the stairs to going for a walk during your lunch break, these simple steps can help you get your steps in.
Walk to work
If possible, consider walking instead of driving. Depending on the distance you move per step (an average of 0.79m for men and 0.66m for women), you could take between 1 265 to 1 515 steps per kilometre. A brisk walk may help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as help to regulate your blood sugar.
If you need to drive to work or a shop, park as far away as possible from the entrance, so that you have to walk further.
Take the stairs
If you have a choice of taking a lift or stairs, always take the stairs. Not only will you be getting your steps in, but it will help to strengthen your legs, and build and maintain healthy joints and bones. This, in turn, may help to decrease the risk of injury from falls, especially in the elderly.
Stair climbing may also help to burn about 8 000 to 11 000 calories of energy per minute. By using the stairs instead of the lift you could, therefore, possibly achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Get up and get moving
Serious health problems have been linked to sitting for a very long time each day. For example, your metabolism slows down 90% after 30 minutes of sitting. You may also be at a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, anxiety, and depression if you sit for extended periods. Leg muscles may also become weaker and hips stiff, which could lead to falls in the elderly.
It’s, therefore, important to interrupt time spent sitting with activity. For example, get up for at least five minutes after every hour you’ve spent sitting. You could do a quick chore (if you’re at home), get up to make a cup of tea, or ask a colleague a question about a project instead of emailing them. You could also walk around while you talk to someone on your cell phone instead of sitting. Light stretches can also help to decrease stiffness and pain.
You could also take lunch time walks. In fact, a ten-minute walk after you’ve eaten may help to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Leg exercises at your desk
If you need to sit for a long time in back-to-back online meetings, you can keep your legs moving without leaving your desk. Rotate your ankles inwards and outwards, and flex and point your feet to help with blood circulation. This, in turn, may help to prevent thrombosis.
You could also stretch your legs under your desk and do gentle leg raises or strengthen your calves by raising and lowering your heels. These exercises can be done seated or standing.
Move more with Tempo
The Bestmed Tempo wellness programme offers you a comprehensive Fitness Journey via the Bestmed App and/or online member portal. You can set personal goals, sync your fitness device to track your exercise, take part in challenges, and access on-demand exercise classes, as well as a library of health and wellness topics, at no extra cost.
Cleveland Clinic. 2023. Health Essentials: 6 desk exercises that help you get stronger while working. Available here.
Duke University. Nd. Benefits of taking the stairs. Available here.
Graff-Radford, M. 2020. Sitting is the new smoking. In: Mayo Clinic Connect. Available here.
Marcin, A. 2020. What are the benefits of aerobic exercise? In: Healthline. D. Bubnis (ed.). Available here.
MacPherson, R. 2021. 8 ways to move more during the workday. In: Verywellfit. H. Black (ed.). Available here.
Sustainability Info. 2023. How many steps are in a kilometer? Available here.