Increase your Unintentional Activity!

21 11 2014

With the upcoming holiday season some of you may tend to alter your normal exercise routine as well as eating habits. Especially during this time it is easy to stray from your normal routine at the gym in order to get everything done. This is why it is very important to increase your unintentional exercise in order to increase the calories you burn during the day instead of relying on your visit to the gym that might be interruptGroup-Walking_croppedted. For most people, exercise means workouts that involve the gym, equipment, specific clothing, etc. but the real key to success is changing your lifestyle by increasing your general level of activity throughout the day. Unintentional or accidental exercises are the activities we do throughout the day that expend energy without the general definition of ‘exercise’ .Doing your own yard work, walking around while on a phone call, and not using the drive-up window are all examples of ways you can increase your unintentional exercise throughout the day. Since the typical holiday cuisine is not conducive to our diets throughout the rest of the year, doing some additional activity throughout the day that will not take time away from the holiday hustle and bustle is always a plus! Here are some ways to burn extra calories at work or on the go:

  • Look for opportunities to stand. You burn more calories standing than you do sitting. Setting your computer screen on some books to create a standing desk is a great way to add some extra calorie burn in throughout the day.
  • Take walking breaks. Instead of drinking coffee in the break room or taking breaks at your desk, stand up and do some gentle stretching or better yet take a brisk walk around the building in order to burn some calories and increase your circulation which will also help you refocus on your work.
  • Trade in your office chair for a fitness ball. You can find them at Walmart or any other local store for around $12. This will help tone your core and improve your balance while you work.
  • Take the stairs. Stair climbing requires 8-9 times more energy expenditure than sitting and 7 times more calories than taking the elevator. It’s also great for toning your legs and butt.
  • Park far away. Parking far away or at the end of the parking lot can increase the amount of walking you do per day which intern increases the amount of calories you will be burning. One added bonus is parking at the end of the lot will save you time from driving up and down isles looking for the closest parking spot while holiday shopping.

Many of you are trying to develop tools to lead a healthier lifestyle, and right before the holidays is a great time to start. Some of you have already started adding small changes like these into your day, but there is one thing you must remember when expecting results from adding these changes to your routine, be patient! Research claims it will take four to six months to start seeing the benefits of increased activity. However, these researchers are not taking into account weekly visits to the gym and healthier diets that many of you have started doing since the program started. While those results seem like a long time, the goal is to develop a new lifestyle that will be set in place for the long hall. A great moto to live by that encourages an active lifestyle is-  If you don’t move, you lose it!

Happy holidays!

K10247326_10102232512583939_6300324526832262431_nelly Stubna, MPH Health Behavior Coach

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