Getting movement ingrained as one of your habits in the everyday things we do is the most achievable way to get moving more. Being more active requires a deliberate effort, walking or cycling instead of using the car. Commuting to work on the bike or walking the kids to school are simple everyday changes we can make to be more active.
These six simple changes to your lifestyle can make a massive difference to your overall health and well-being; no expensive gym equipment is needed, only simple lifestyle changes.
- Taking the stairs,
- Walking or Cycling to work
- Parking further away
- Walking or Cycling with the kids on the school run
- Walking or Cycling to the shops or cafe
- Longer dog walks
1. Taking the Stairs
If your workplace is not on the ground floor and you need to take an elevator, allow some extra time and take the stairs, you’ll be amazed what a difference this can make. Pledge to take the stair wherever you encounter them, be it at the office, the tube station, local park or wherever. Making that decision to work a little harder will only benefit you more. Many won’t choose the stairs because it’s the harder option especially when an easy option is available, we are wired to select the path of least resistance. Break this habit on the next set of stairs you encounter.
2. Walking or Cycling to Work
Many of us make journeys every day that we could easily walk or cycle, an active commute requires extra effort and planning, and it’s easy to see why we just jump in the car.
Changing travel habits we’ve had for years won’t be easy, and it will be harder in the winter. The key is to plan, set your cycling gear out the night before, set the alarm a little earlier. The issue with this one is there isn’t much incentive to adhere to it; it’s slow, it’s harder, it takes planning etc., etc. Being reflective will help, you’ll be having a positive effect on your environment, contributing to a more pleasant atmosphere with one less car on the road. Keep this up all year, and your carbon footprint just fell off a cliff.
3. Parking Further Away
Real simple, going shopping or the cinema or wherever, park further away, some significant benefits with this tip. You’ll get a parking space, and you’ll walk more. Win, win. If you think it won’t make any difference, you are wrong; it is the effect on your habits, lifestyle and mindset which is going to make the difference here. Those not prepared to walk a few extra steps when you can are not likely to pursue other lifestyle changes, it’s a butterfly effect of achievable yet straightforward lifestyle changes which will enable you to get more active and ultimately improve your health and wellbeing.
4. Walking or Cycling with the kids on the school run
Another key lifestyle habit that many of us can do yet choose not too, the average school run is just 1.5 miles. This is an achievable distance to walk, cycle or scooter and I’m sure you’ll agree, getting kids active from an early age is very important.
5. Walking or Cycling to the shops or cafe
We’re all guilty of jumping in the car when we pop into town? In most cases, we aren’t picking up a new wardrobe and taking the bike or walking is possible. If you think about it, it will save you money as you’ll only buy what you can carry. Just like pursuing an active school run this is about being more active in every day a to b journeys we make. Try being reflective on your effect on your local environment, do you want to see lots of cars, massive parking issues and increases in pollution? Probably not. New initiatives are being rolled out in cities that will make it harder to use your car, less parking. Just get on your bike. Simple.
6. Longer dog walks
Add an extra 10 minutes to your dog walk, that’s an extra 20-30 minutes a day and a good 3 hours a week of additional activity, it all adds up and makes a difference.