40 Ways to Add More Movement to Your Life

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woman stacking wood exerciseToday’s blog post was written by Monica Preisig, Green Mountain fitness intern, and is part of our top-40 series to mark Green Mountain’s 40th anniversary.

Opportunistic Exercise

Whether you are feeling stuck and unmotivated with your fitness routine, or are struggling with being active at all, one of the things we recommend at Green Mountain is to add movement to your life that doesn’t seem like “exercise.” I like to call it opportunistic exercise.

Opportunistic exercise is adding movement to your everyday activities, or looking at how you can do everyday activities differently to make them more active. It’s all part of becoming an intrinsic exerciser, which strengthens your chances of staying with it for the long-haul.

Some Movement Is Better Than Nothing

Read Related Article: Learning to Love Physical Activity
We also like to remind our participants that something is better than nothing to get them out of the all-or-nothing mindset, which diminishes the chances of sticking with an exercise routine.

Start by thinking about where you are everyday – work, home, and with friends and family – and how you can add a little “something” to each.

40 Ways to Add More Movement to Your Life

  1. 40-ways-to-add-movementRake leaves, mow the lawn and wash your own windows
  2. Chop and stack wood
  3. Take the dog for a walk or play catch, instead of letting him/her out in the backyard
  4. Plant and tend a garden
  5. Paint a room in your house a fun color
  6. Dance-Clean: Put on some tunes and dance like no one’s watching while you clean
  7. Get off the bus or subway at the stop before your stop
  8. Do bicep curls with your grocery bags
  9. Add a habit to another habit, e.g. doing squats while brushing your teeth
  10. Wash & wax your car (instead of taking it through the car wash)
  11. Shovel your own sidewalk (bonus points: shovel your neighbor’s too!)
  12. Bike or walk an errand, e.g. delivering a letter to the post office
  13. Don’t send someone else to get something upstairs, do it yourself
  14. Skip the drive-through for coffee; go inside and order
  15. Walk or bike to work once a week
  16. Schedule walking meetings with colleagues
  17. Take a stroll around the office once a day – you also get to visit with everyone
  18. Connect your computer to a printer further away
  19. Skip the elevator, take the stairs
  20. Sit on an exercise ball at your desk or try a standing desk
  21. Walk for half of your lunch break
  22. Stretch every time you use the bathroom
  23. Take phone calls standing up
  24. Walk to a colleague’s office instead of e-mailing or calling
  25. Do wall push-ups or tricep dips during conference calls
  26. Pack a picnic and hit the park instead of going to a restaurant
  27. Go to a concert where you will dance, dance, dance
  28. Do your Green Mountain stretches while you watch TV
  29. Avoid online shopping and hit the stores
  30. Look for volunteer opportunities that are active, e.g. helping clean a local park
  31. Try mini-golf or the batting cages instead of video games
  32. Go apple picking or berry picking
  33. Keep a pair of sneakers in your car in case the opportunity to walk arises
  34. Park at the end opposite your destination at the mall
  35. Fire up an audio book so you can walk while you “read”
  36. Do toe raises and calf raises while standing in line
  37. Meet a friend for coffee and walk while you catch up
  38. Go to a playground with your family and actually play on the monkey bars, swings and ladders
  39. Opt for dinner and dancing instead of dinner and a movie
  40. Get involved in a life long recreational activity like archery, camping, volleyball, tennis or golf

Finding something to do for yourself, even it if it as small as getting up and stretching every hour, is a fantastic way to reboot your energy level, keep you focused and not stay sitting.

Have you found a way to add more movement to your life by switching up your routine? How?


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