Healthy Heart Tip: Make every step count
The way we travel, shop, work, clean, communicate, cook, entertain ourselves, pretty much anything we do in the 21st century is done with minimal physical effort. We now have to actively seek out opportunities to move more.
We know that physical inactivity has weighty consequences for our own health and the health of future generations.
The good news is, Heart Research UK have come up with some simple solutions that fit into your daily life to help you move more without even looking at a gym.
- Shake up your commute
Add in a walk or cycle at the start and end of your day. Many workplaces offer a cycle to work scheme and have lockers and shower facilities, so find out what’s on offer to help you on your way. Being active will also keep your head clear and focused and help you sleep well and feel good.
Get up from your desk whenever you can; organise a walking meeting with your team, you’ll be surprised just how easily those creative juices flow when you’re away from your desk or a stuffy meeting room. Walk over to people instead of phoning or emailing them, use the toilets on the opposite side of the building or on a different floor where possible.
- Play more
If children are restricting your movements this half term, get out and play with them. Practice some ball games in the garden, go swimming together or make the walking more fun by playing eye spy. Older kids might like a game of mini golf, taking to some high ropes or reaching a peak. Keep it fun and keep moving.
- Shop offline
You won’t gain any health benefits from ordering your shopping from the comfort of your settee. Make the most of your local environment and walk to the local shops when you can. You’ll get a mini workout at the same time and have a much better sense of community and purpose. Back straight, muscles flexed, carry the bags. It all counts.
Switch the balance of activity in your life. Think of everything you do and instead of ‘how can I make this easier?’ think ‘how can I make this count?’ A little more effort to move more will go a long way to looking after your health and your heart.