Move More Month (April): Easy ways to be more active
It’s Move More Month this April so we thought we’d take some inspiration from the occasion and share a few ways that you can become more active. It is spring after all, and a good time to dust off the cobwebs and re-introduce some healthier habits. Quite frankly, it can be very easy to slip into a pattern of being sedentary and when we’re in this loop of working from our desks, heading home, relaxing and switching off in the evenings, it can actually feel hard to get out of this routine.
Many experts agree that it’s not about making drastic changes to our lifestyle as this can often feel unachievable. What can feel more attainable and sustainable is incorporating a small change into each week and building up incrementally. Here are four ways to go from sedentary to ‘spring in your step’ over the course of the four weeks in April. By May you’ll be striding into the summer with great habits on your side.
Week 1 – Baby Steps
Start by incorporating 2,000 more steps to your average day. This is roughly one mile. To do this you might like to opt for the stairs where possible, going for a brief walk at lunch time or after work, if you’re not already. Do this every day for a week. That’s it.
Week 2 – Dance Fever Bolt-On
Your challenge for this week is to dance for 5 minutes every day at home after work or during a household task like cooking. Crank up your favourite tunes, involve your loved ones, and let your hair down. Do this in addition to your 2,000 extra daily steps. If you really don’t like dancing, then feel free to replace this with star-jumps or jogging on the spot but pick something you can do at home without much preparation needed. The idea is that it’s easy to incorporate.
Week 3 – Ritual Swapping
Make a list of your top three most performed daily rituals, such as speaking to a partner at lunchtime or Facetiming your parents. Next, look at activities where you’re usually sitting still, points in your day where there’s room for movement. So at lunchtime, instead of standing outside on the phone to your partner or Facetiming your parents, go for a walk while you talk. Usually drive to work? Park further away to allow increased movement or consider cycling. (Keep up your extra steps and bolt-on dancing from Week 1 and 2.)
Week 4 – Going Extra
In addition to keeping up your incremental new movement tasks from weeks 1, 2 and 3, this week is about going that bit extra. Whatever your daily household or work-based tasks – things like washing up, tidying up the house, walking to the printer, grabbing a coffee – go an extra mile with three of these tasks. So, for example, instead of walking directly to the coffee shop or printer, make a detour to add in some more movement. When washing up, why not mop the floor too. Sweeping up outside, do some extra weeding. Just add on that little bit ‘extra’ movement.
Is moving more, a little easier than you envisaged? Perhaps yes, or maybe not. Either way, at the very least hopefully this post has inspired you to add some extra movement to your lifestyle.
You can of course adapt any of the above activities or scenarios and make up your own incremental ways to move more. The idea is to find ways to slot it around what you already do and where possible, to make it a bit more fun. Get creative.