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Welcome to Day 18 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon.
Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to think about them and take action. Ready?
What You Need:
- A willingness to move it, move it.
Doing your weekly 30 x 3 exercise sessions from Day 5 is great – it raises your heart rate, gets you sweating, and can burn lots of calories.
But there are many ways you can get micro-exercise into your day, too. Some people call it incidental exercise. I like to think of it as lifestyle exercise – something that becomes part of your lifestyle.
Each nugget of micro-exercise can seem tiny – and it’s good to think that way, so you’ll feel inclined to do one every chance you get.
But the benefits aren’t so tiny. Not only do the weight-loss calories add up, but by taking opportunities to move, you form a habit of moving.
So as a first step, open your mind to the ways you can add micro-exercise to your life. They don’t take a lot of effort, but they can add up to a lot of calories, taken together and over time.
Next, let’s consider the myriad ways you can add micro-exercise to your daily life. Here are some:
- Take stairs rather than escalators or elevators (There are so stairs in your building – find them!)
- Don’t use remotes – get up and press the buttons
- Go talk to your colleagues rather than emailing them (bonus: you may save time on back-and-forth emails)
- Walk to work
- Walk the kids to school
- Wherever you go, move a little faster and more energetically
- Get off the train or bus one stop earlier and walk
- Park farther away (from the restaurant, shops, appointment) so you have to walk (bonus: parking may be easier at a distance)
- If at a dinner party, help to carry dishes to and from the table
- Put a bike or treadmill in front of the TV and move while you watch
- Do sit-ups or push-ups during ad breaks
- If you tend to have inactive weekends, make a project of doing chores, repairs or other household tasks
- Walk, cycle or run to the library, to pick up the kids, do errands, etc.
- Walk around the house while on the phone
- Play a game outside with the kids
- Take the (neighbor’s) dog for a walk
- Stop asking the kids/your spouse/your PA to pass you things, get something from over there, pick you up a coffee or go out to get your lunch – it’s annoying to them, and it denies you the chance to burn calories
- Put more energy into the housework – vacuum, hang laundry or dust with vigor
- Put more energy into the yard work – I don’t really know what goes on out there, but do it with a good posture and sense of speedy purpose
- Put more energy into your, um, love life – do it more often or with more sprightliness
- Wash the car faster and more energetically
- Do some gardening – the kind where you have to cart stuff around, dig holes, squat, wheel wheelbarrows and such; pruning bonsai doesn’t count
- Switch from passive to active family time – instead of watching movies or playing computer games, go for a bushwalk, play in the park, ride bikes together, or play fitness-based console games.
Hint: Use a pedometer for extra motivation.
There’s something about tracking anything that makes you want to do better at it. Using a pedometer can help motivate you to take extra steps throughout your day. So if you’re looking for incentive to move more in your daily life, it’s worth a try.
Choose at least three forms of micro-exercise, from my list or add your own, that you’ll commit to doing as a new habit.
What will you do for your micro-exercise?
And you’re done!
See you tomorrow!