Move more. The one simple thing that we can all start doing now to help us live longer and burn more calories while we’re at it.
According to the experts, the biggest threat to our health, and ultimately our lifespan, is the time we spend sitting down.
Sitting down for six or more hours every day makes us 40% more likely to die within the next 15 years than someone who sits down for less than three hours.
Human beings were not designed to be sedentary creatures. Our ancestors would spend all day walking around; our skeletons are built to be most effective when upright and moving.
Moving more also means we burn more calories. It’s well known that people who fidget burn more calories than those who sit still, and people who generally move around more will burn even more calories.
Here are our top tips to get you moving more and burning more calories without even noticing it:
1 Always take the stairs over an escalator or lift, and if you have to use the escalator, always walk up and down it – never stand still. Walking upstairs will also doubly work your glutes – bonus!
2 If you work in an office, pick a time e.g. on the hour or on the half hour, and every hour make sure you get out of your chair and walk around for a few minutes; go and make a cup of tea, go to the toilet, collect the post or walk over to the colleague that you were just about to email and have a chat with them instead.
3 Try to plan your journeys to include a little walk – can you get off the bus and walk further, can you park in a different carpak to force you to walk more? Can you go a different way which involves cutting through a park? This will take a bit more planning but walking more will also give you more headspace and time to think creatively or reflect on important issues.
4 Borrow a friend’s dog once a week and take it for a walk. Not only will it make you feel great but it will also help out your friend. No dog? No problem. Sign up to a dog walking website like www.borrowmydoggy.com
5 Do you always go to the same café or shop on your lunchbreak because it’s closest to the office? Make the effort to walk to one that’s further away, or better still, reclaim your lunchbreak and take the whole hour to go for a walk. That’s a whole hour of extra exercise each day without even trying.