Moving your body is great for your health, mind, and mood, but finding the time in a jam-packed schedule can be a trial. Learn how to hit microbursts of cardio throughout the day!
Boosting your energy, feeling immensely better, and living longer all might sound like witch doctor magic that’s totally out of reach. But what if we told you that all you had to do was move your body? Exercise really is an entirely possible miracle.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following benefits of exercise, among others:
- Weight control
- Lower risk of heart and metabolic diseases
- Improved mood
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
Adults need 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to reap the benefits. And trust us, the benefits for mental wellness alone are worth it. But where the heck does that time come from?
Newsflash: You already have that time, but you may not be using it right. You’d be surprised how long we spend sitting around when we could be moving!
Think about it… we sit while we work and drive, and we go out of our way to walk less by taking elevators and picking the best parking spot. If you look for opportunities to get moving instead of chances to sit down, you could find that 150 minutes a week is NOTHING.
Check out these 7 cardio tips that allow you to sneak in exercise and get started:
1. Cardio tips for gabbers: walk while you talk!
Why do you need to spend every meeting on your butt? It’s not easy to walk and talk with more than three people, but the next time you have a small group meeting, take it mobile.
The same is true of phone calls and Zoom meetings—if it happens on your smartphone, it can totally come with you while you do a couple of laps around the house or office building!
2. Stand while you work
Who says that sitting is the best way to be productive? Au contraire! In fact, the more hours per day you spend sitting, the higher your risk of death from any cause!
Sitting for more than 3 hours on a daily basis can cut your life expectancy by 2 years, even if you live a perfectly healthy lifestyle in other ways, like prioritizing physical activity and not smoking. That’s not even a half-shift at work!
Standing may not seem like one of the most, um, intense cardio tips. But it does impact your metabolism. And the risks to health are reason enough for us to get off our butts and put our legs to good use. Yikes!
Use a standing desk to elevate your monitor and keyboard to ergonomic heights, or check out a monitor riser if you can’t replace your desk (office rules, blah, blah.)
3. Drink more freaking water!
Alright, maybe you’re scratching your head at this one. Why would hydration be part of your daily exercise?
Look at it this way: When you drink like a fish, you pee like a fish. Every time you drink water, you guarantee an upcoming trip to the loo. For bonus cardio, pick a bathroom in a different part of the office to get in even more steps!
As a nice side effect, maintaining hydration can make the rest of your day much better. This one’s a win-win!
4. Be a stair master
Give yourself a ban from the elevator—and enforce it! Climbing stairs is a great way to build endurance and work out your cardiovascular system. You can break a quick sweat just getting where you need to be.
This one partners well with the previous tip if you choose a bathroom on another floor!
5. Ditch the drive
If you live close to the office, why not get there the old-fashioned way? Your legs or a bike will do just fine, or you can get adventurous and try rollerblading to work (but don't forget your work shoes!)
As a bonus, walking or biking (or blading) to work reduces your carbon footprint and impact on the environment. Green points!
6. More car cardio tips: leave prime parking for the next guy
There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush from snagging the perfect parking spot. We’re kind of salivating thinking about that feeling of triumph. But it’s time to say goodbye to the thrill of the chase, if you want to leverage this sneakiest of the sneaky cardio tips.
Every time you drive somewhere, park at the far end of the lot. We mean as far away as possible so you can get in those sweet, sweet steps.
Do this at the grocery store, mall, school, and work. We mean everywhere. Those steps add up fast.
7. Cardio tips can be a beautiful thing—if you take the scenic route
Look at you, being efficient when you go grocery shopping or to the farmer’s market. You know all the spots to hit and the right time to hit them, and you never waste a second (or a step) when you’re shopping. You’re a pro!
We have news.
That’s not you anymore. Now you go the long way around every single aisle before you leave the grocery store. At the farmer’s market, you walk the full circle and see every stand.
The result is twofold:
- You take so many more steps than you did before
- You actually take the time to use your senses and enjoy your shopping experience (mindfulness bonus!)
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