One of the top reasons many people don’t exercise is lack of time, but did you know that even 15 minutes of light exercise can make a significant difference to your current and future health & wellbeing?
Light exercise can be anything from walking the dog to cooking, as long as we’re doing an activity that gets us moving!
Below are some creative and simple ways to lightly exercise, regularly and consistently.
Although more extensive exercise may impact our health more, it isn’t easily achieved for many people. Light exercise can be done anytime, anywhere, consistently and from the comfort of your home. So in what ways does light exercise impact our health and wellbeing journey?
Recent Harvard studies found that although vigorous and intense exercise can majorly impact our cardiovascular health, there’s been a growing appreciation for light exercises, even if it just means getting up off the couch. Any and all movement can make a difference, and even preparing a meal or doing one of the above suggestions can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly for women in their early 60s and later.
Light-intensity physical activity was tied to a significant 24% reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease and an 11% reduction in risk of death from all causes.
Overall, any physical activity helps our overall long-term wellbeing. For substantial benefits, it’s recommended that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week (which can ideally be spread into 10-minute bouts). Alternatively, 75 minutes of more intense vigorous physical activity is suggested (swimming laps, jogging); however, this can be incorporated and mixed in with shorter light-intensity exercises.
All those minutes of suggested physical activity may sound like a lot; however, there are many ways you can easily incorporate some of these activities into your daily routines effortlessly! (P.S. you may even already be doing some of these and not know they count as a light exercise…)
1. Have a desk job? Add a standing desk to your home office and maybe even a mini desk treadmill!
Standing is counted as a light exercise. If you spend nine-plus hours a day sitting at your office job seated desk, you might want to look into a standing desk.
There are many options these days where desks can be elevated and lowered, featuring both a standing and seated option.
To take it a step further, treadmills have now been adapted to be placed under desks and made suitable for all work and office spaces.
2. Walk to work or walk to get lunch on your break.
To incorporate more physical activity into your day, switching up your mode of transport is a great option, especially if you live in an area bustling with food options and you live not too far from the office.
3. Making your own meals
If you didn’t plan on buying your meal today and have no excuse to walk on your break, don’t stress - cooking also counts as light exercise!
4. When you take a phone call, encourage pacing or walking whilst on the phone.
Many of us already pace when we’re taking a phone call, yet this is another way to get a quick 10 minutes of light exercise in! The best part is it doesn’t even feel like exercise as you’re distracted by the phone call you’re taking.
5. Cleaning/ gardening on your breaks
Many people clean or garden to clear their minds during the week and reset, which is excellent as cleaning and gardening also count as light exercise. To amp up the physical activity even more, put on your favourite music and have a little dance when you feel like it! (dancing is also a light exercise)
6. Have some fun
If it’s a Friday afternoon and you’re spending the evening at the bar, try and compensate for that alcohol with a quick game of pool (or two)! Playing games like pool or even agile video games (Nintendo Wii) get’s our blood pumping and has us moving around…another light exercise!
Overall there are so many ways to incorporate light physical activity into your everyday life, which help our health and wellbeing in a range of positive ways. From cooking & walking the dog to cleaning and playing a game of pool, we already do many everyday activities that count as light exercise.
Improve your weekly physical activity by incorporating more of these habits into your daily routines, and you’ll quickly see improvements in your physical and mental health.