Tips for an active lifestyle – how to exercise without exercising

October 26, 2021

We all know we should be exercising more and sitting less but, sometimes, it can be hard to find the time to go to the gym or fit in a swim.

But formal exercise isn’t the only way to keep moving.  Evidence is mounting that incidental activity – exercise that occurs as part and parcel of our day-to-day routine – is also beneficial to the body and brain.

In fact, to maintain and improve brain health, the Global Council on Brain Health, an independent panel of scientists, doctors, academics and policy experts which provides trusted information on how to maintain and improve brain health, recommends that we do formal exercise AND try to be active in our day-to-day lives.

And with research suggesting that formal exercise alone won’t undo the effects of sitting for long periods of time, American Heart Association is urging everyone to ‘sit less, move more’.

Here are some simple ways to fit more exercise into your day:

At home

  • Hide the remote control and walk over to the TV to change the channel.
  • Walk and talk – stand up and move around when on the phone.
  • Put on your favourite music and dance.
  • Break up tasks: take the recycling out in two trips, rather than one, or make two trips upstairs to put away the laundry.

At work

  • Walk over to talk to a colleague, instead of phoning or emailing them.
  • Make the furthest printer from your desk your default printer.
  • Take the stairs, whenever you can, rather than the lift or escalator.
  • Use the bathroom on another floor.

When out and about

  • Stand, rather than sit, on public transport and get off a couple of stops early and walk.
  • Carry a basket, rather than push a trolley, at the supermarket.
  • Park your car at the edge of the car park, instead of by the store entrance.
  • Don’t just watch your children or grandchildren play – join in!