It’s highly likely that over the last few months, your usual exercise levels have dropped. Working from home, stay-at-home mandates, the closing of businesses and restrictions on gatherings mean that most of us have spent more time getting well-acquainted with our couch and Netflix rather than focusing on energy in versus energy out. This can have significant effects on weight control, quality of sleep and energy levels throughout the day.
Now that we’re all inching our way back to regular life (and potentially taking part in the 45-Day Challenge), it’s time to hit the reset button and kickstart those healthy habits that contribute to our overall fitness. One thing that often sneaks under the radar is incidental exercise—those little bursts of activity throughout the day that up your step count and help you burn more energy.
Here are 6 super simple ways to boost your incidental exercise and increase your energy expenditure throughout the day. Remember, the little things all add up, so start slotting these into your daily routine!
Walk to the gym, park further away or get off one stop early.
Do you live or work close to your F45 studio? Get some fresh air and walk instead of driving. Not only will you avoid having to find a parking spot, but you’ll get a little extra warm-up on the way. If you need to drive or catch public transport to work, try and park further away from your usual spot, or jump off the bus/train one stop early. Clear your head and have a few minutes to yourself instead of being cramped up.
Schedule breaks and set reminders for movement.
Sometimes, we can get so focused on a task that we look up and realize we haven’t left our desks in three hours. Set some intervals in your work calendar to remind you to get up and move. Most smart watches will have a step or stand goal for each hour during the working day, so switch these on and get reminded to up your step count, take a walk around the building, do 20 squats, or have a 5-minute stretch.
Swap the walk for a jog and the elevator for the stairs.
If you need to go somewhere, pick up the pace and make it a brisk walk or a jog. Instead of waiting for the elevator to come back several times with less than two people in it, where practical, take the stairs instead.
Go up a weight increment in your F45 classes.
If you’ve been back in the gym for a couple of weeks now and are feeling comfortable with your resistance choices, going up even just one weight increment will help burn more calories and put you on the path to increasing your muscle mass. Ask your trainers to help you do this safely and always make sure you’re prioritizing technique.
Change up your meeting locations.
Ever tried a walking meeting? It’s a great way to be in a non-confrontational stance (think heading in the same direction, side-by-side, as a team), all while taking in the benefits of fresh air and extra blood flow. This is a great option for brainstorming and will incrementally increase your step count.
Set yourself a target each day.
Start small, like completing 20 squats, 20 push-ups and 20 mountain climbers across the course of the day. You can break these up to do in between work calls (see tip #2), when you have your morning coffee, or as part of your warm-up. This could also be a step count, like aiming for 10,000 steps every day for a month.