Do you spend a good chunk of your day sitting on your booty?
Are you stuck in front of a computer for hours at work?
And when you finally get home, do you still feel like you have a to-do list a million miles long?
I feel ya!
It’s really hard to fit exercise into that busy routine, isn’t it?
But I have some really good news – it’s absolutely possible to be more active without a ton of effort, a gym membership or even a lot more time.
In fact, there are some super easy options anyone can add on to their daily workout routine that can ultimately make an incredible difference in our well-being.
You might say they’re really NEAT ways to get your fitness on! (That’s a pun you’ll get in a few minutes, but I’m full on chuckling right now, just fyi.)
This week I invited Maryann Auger of Mani Fitness, a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and group fitness instructor, to teach us the easiest ways to be more active. Her realistic and totally simple answer might surprise you…
Let’s dive in!
Before We Get Started
I am so excited to have Maryann back at mshealthesteem.com.
There’s an important reason I invited her to talk to us about easy ways we can add to our daily workout routine…
Not only is Maryann a certified personal trainer and wellness coach with the experience and knowledge needed to give us helpful advice. She’s also a fellow self-love advocate and encourages her clients and followers to build their own unique, healthy balanced lifestyle. And you know I’m all about that!
I love that she doesn’t have a cookie cutter view on how to create a healthy lifestyle! And her philosophy extends to her views on exercise. It’s something that’s very important for our well-being, but completely flexible to everyone’s likes and preferences.
If you hate it you won’t stick to it, and Maryann totally gets that. She encourages us to figure out what exercises we enjoy and have fun with that.
If you’d like to learn more about her philosophy on the importance of creating your own unique, healthy lifestyle, check out her inspirational interview here.
Now let’s talk about easy ways to be more active with Maryann. /passes the mic
7 Easy Ways To Add On To Your Workout Routine
We all know that exercising has many health benefits – hello better heart health and reduced risk of chronic diseases! It’s also helpful in improving our mood and making us feel more energized and good in our bodies.
But how can we be more active and increase these amazing benefits?
It all comes down to finding ways to move your body that make you happy and that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re most likely not going to stick to it. Keeping things fun is important!
And there are even some easy ways to add to your daily workout routine without a lot of effort. Let’s talk about NEAT…
Increase Your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
Your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is basically the energy you expand doing anything that isn’t eating, sleeping, working out or playing a sport. (Source)
That means you could easily increase your NEAT and add to your daily workout routine by doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car further away from the entrance so that you have to walk more.
Standing instead of sitting and even fidgeting can increase your NEAT! How cool?!
These are all things that you might have to consciously change in your routine at first, but the more you do it the more natural and simple it will become. And your health will reap the rewards!
Want some easy ideas?
Let’s take a look at how things like active breaks, random dance parties and standing instead of sitting can all increase your NEAT and help you to get more exercise.
1. Active Breaks
It’s time to take out your phone! If your work place doesn’t already have active breaks in place (maybe it’s something you can suggest to your boss?!) you can set your own by setting up reminders on your phone.
Every hour, set yourself a reminder to move your body!
That could be things like:
- Standing up to go to the washroom
- Getting yourself some water
- Saying hi to Suzy at the other end of the office
- Going on a short walk outside
- Getting some stretching in
- Doing a 10 minute workout routine
Whatever feels right to you.
It’s all about finding an excuse to move a little bit of moving whether you’re working, at school, studying or doing anything that involves sitting for a long period of time.
According to a McGill University article, taking a break every 50 to 90 minutes:
- Increases attention, focus, and concentration
- Speeds up learning
- Helps with physical discomfort/tension & eye strain
- Relaxes the body and mind
2. Be Active at Home
Another great way to be active for FREE (well, you’ll need internet so it’s not 100% free lol) and from the convenience of your own home is through YouTube videos or Workout DVD’s.
YouTube is full of all kinds of ways to be active. From doing Zumba, Pilates, dancing, HIIT, strength training, yoga, spin classes and more. If a certain way of moving makes you happy, I’m sure you can find a video for it and add some fun to you daily workout routine.
Another thing that’s great about YouTube videos is that you can find videos that are 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour long. So you can easily pick something that suits your busy schedule!
You can also freestyle it. Plan a little circuit on your phone or on a piece of paper or simply wing it.
P.S. Cleaning also counts as being active! Put some music on and clean away!
3. Random Dance Parties
Remember when you were a teenager and you would just blast (Disney) music in your room and dance away with no care in the world… or was that just me? (Sara popping in here to admit that I am also guilty of blasting or singing Disney music, or any music, and boogieing away… still.)
Put on your favorite jams and let things loose. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a good dancer (I’m definitely not). This is just about having fun and moving our bodies! And, hey, we get to increase our NEAT while we do it. How great is that?!
4. Stand Instead of Sitting When You Can
Many studies demonstrate that sitting for long periods of time is not good for our health. It causes our blood circulation to be constricted, our muscles don’t work optimally and our metabolism slows down.
When we sit, we usually don’t have a good posture. Our shoulders and our back are rounded, our hips are contracted all day and our muscles get stiff. It’s definitely not a good recipe for health. It can also cause, chronic pain and injuries. (Source 1, Source 2)
We can avoid that by:
- Taking some active breaks
- Alternating between standing
- Sitting while working
- Taking a quick moment to stretch
- Making sure we have good posture while we’re sitting down
- And so much more
Personally, I find standing more often helps you feel less sluggish and more energetic! That’s a win win in my book!
5. Try to Get in More Steps During the Day
You’ve probably heard the recommendation to do 10,000 steps a day. Well, it turns out that it can actually have some benefits to our wellbeing!
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 days a week or 150 minutes per week. Some studies demonstrate that 10,000 steps meets that requirement.
They conducted a study with 30 participants that were considered sedentary (5000 steps a day). After 12 weeks of doing 10,000 steps 5 days a week, they decreased feelings of tension, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)
You don’t need to start off with 10,000 steps, you can simply start off by focusing on taking more steps during the day!
P.S. Never feel guilty for not hitting your 10,000 steps. Sometimes it’s just not going to happen and that’s ok!
6. Remember – It Has To Be Fun
Like I mentioned earlier, the most important part is to make it FUN and ENJOYABLE.
If it feels like a chore, you won’t want to do it and you most likely won’t stick to it. Plus, being active is not meant to be negative!
The goal is to incorporate movement that feels good, makes you happy and doesn’t feel impossible to stick to.
7. Start Small
Usually, we don’t stick to a goal we set for ourselves when we start too big. We get overwhelmed, we have too many things we need to remember and it’s difficult to stick to all of the goals we set. Been there, done that!
I don’t know anyone who can keep up with incorporating active breaks, taking the stairs, working out at home, dancing in their living room – you get the point – at the same time and stick to all of them.
Increase your chances of sticking to your goal of moving more by trying to incorporate one thing at a time. Start with one goal and once it becomes a habit, add on to it!
(This is Sara taking back the wheel!) Thank you so much for taking the time to show us some super easy and NEAT (har har) ways to get our fitness on Maryann! Wasn’t this so helpful guys?!
I love the powerful reminder that exercise doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful and can fit into even the busiest schedule. There are so many different ways to move your beautiful body!
Now it’s your turn! Had you heard of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) before? What are your favourite ways to add to your daily workout routine?
Let me know what you think in the comments below friends. I’m excited to hear what you think!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: There are so many wonderful ways to move my body! I need only focus on the actions I love and enjoy.
Maryann Auger, the owner of Mani Fitness, is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach and group fitness instructor. She creates Daily Inspirational Posts where she shares tips, tricks, experience and advice to help you build your healthy balanced lifestyle.
She’s a self-love advocate that strives to help people get fit while loving themselves and their balanced lifestyles. She loves her dog Zea, food, Disney movies and fantasy books.
You can find her goodness right here:
Get started on your healthy balanced lifestyle with Maryann’s awesome nutrition guide right here (or by clicking the image below).
The Nutrition Guide contains
- A look into intuitive and mindful eating
- Information on macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein including info on fiber, glycemic index, etc)
- Specifications on water intake
- What you need to know about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) with extra information on the DRI (dietary reference intakes)
- Explanations on supplements like protein powder, Pre-workout and BCAA’s
- Tips on how to get the nutrients that you need with every meal (the balanced plate)
- Tips on how to read nutrition labels and ingredients list
- A guide on counting your calories, if you choose to, in a safe and effective way (with regards to fat loss or muscle gain)
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