Always consult with your doctor before starting any activity. Remember to wear comfortable and rubber-padded shoes. Use common sense. If at times you are very busy, then it is okay if you skip some trips or make them less frequently. If your work environment does not permit frequent trips, then cut back a little.
But one thing is for sure—no matter what work environment you are in, whether you work at home or commute to work, you can be a lot more active (at least 30-50% more) than you currently are by using some of these tips or by using your creativity and coming up with your own ideas for furthering your activity.
Walk around when you are on the phone. With corded phones, get a long extension and move 3-4 feet sideways. With cordless phones, you can move around the house and maybe move around outside the house.
Follow the 4-foot rule (see below for details).
Reduce TV watching and take the whole family on a 15-20 minute or longer power walk. If time does not allow, you can do a couple of bouts of 15-minute activity per day, before your lunch break and right after work.
While watching TV when commercials come on get up and walk in place or walk around to do various chores until the regular program returns then return to your seat. Each commercial bout is about 2 to 3 minutes long so doing this 3 to 4 times a night will yield an additional 15 minute walking opportunity a day.
You can do slow jumps in place while raising your hands to the side or do any activity in place, even when you’re watching TV at home.
Buy a stationary bicycle, an elliptical machine, or treadmill according to what you can afford, and do about 20 minutes in front of the TV daily, or 3-5 times a week.
Walk in the mall or the local discount store.
Walk while waiting at the doctor’s office or waiting for your prescriptions.
Make more frequent trips to set up the dining table and then to take dirty plates, utensils, and pans back to the kitchen.
Make frequent trips to put several objects away or to move objects from point A to point B.
Do not delegate any task requiring movement to anyone else. Use the 3 or 4 step rule when you are at your desk at work or at home.
Make frequent trips to the basement to get several items, making one trip for each item.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Make small additional walking efforts (30-45 seconds) with every or most chores during the day, at the supermarket, or while doing any kind of shopping. This adds up to big rewards and results at the end of each day, each month, and each year.
Do not use drive-throughs anywhere. Park your car at the last spot in the parking lot of that restaurant.
Volunteer to do the walking chores of others.
At home or at work, sip on water but fill your cup half way and make more frequent trips to refill it.
Use smaller garbage bags at home and make more frequent trips to the dumpster, dumping each small bag at a time.
In the shopping mall, take the chance to do more walking.
At your desk, use a manual stapler instead of an electric effortless stapler.
Use a manual pencil sharpener instead of an electric and effortless sharpener.
Use a manual can opener instead of using the electric one.
Take a 30-minute brisk walk outdoors.
Do your own housecleaning.
Do your own yard work.
Use your creativity and come up with your own ideas in your own environment.
The 4-foot rule:
While at your desk or place of work, place all the tools that you use during your workday within a 3- to 4-foot radius from you and not within an arm’s reach from your current position. For example, put the stapler and the paper clips at the end of one side of your desk, then the penholder and the phone on the opposite side. Keep the trash can about 4 feet away from you.
Every time you need to use these frequently used items, you would have to get up and take a few steps, making the extra effort of walking without causing any loss of work productivity. (Reminder: Wear comfortable rubber-padded shoes to prevent the extra impact on your knees and joints.)
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