Physical activity is not limited to formal workouts; many daily activities contribute to functional movement training and building strength and endurance for everyday tasks. In fact, increasing the amount of movement you make throughout the day when just living your life is a great way to “hack” your metabolism and start losing more weight.
We don’t often think about it, but various everyday activities qualify as physical activity, including carrying groceries, climbing stairs, gardening, playing with kids, walking the dog, and doing household chores. These aren’t going to be a game-changer on their own, but adding them into your daily routine is a great way to supercharge your weight loss.
It all starts with small changes to your daily lifestyle.
To incorporate more physical activity into daily life, starting small and gradually increasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of exercises is recommended. Start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking to work, and taking short walks during breaks. Group activities with family members can provide mutual encouragement and motivational support.
However, it’s crucial not to overdo physical activity, especially when transitioning to a new routine. Don’t jump into intense exercise programs abruptly, as it may lead to muscle strains, tendonitis, and stress fractures. Starting gently and ramping up slowly is advised, and consulting with a healthcare provider before initiating a new activity is recommended, especially for those with underlying health conditions.
Balancing Strength Training With Cardio
Strength training, or resistance training, is essential for maintaining bone density, improving mobility, stabilizing joints, supporting cognitive function, boosting metabolism, and promoting heart health. Tightening the core and using proper lifting techniques during daily activities that involve resistance can enhance the effectiveness of strength training.
In addition to strength training, regular cardiovascular activity is crucial for overall health. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activities per week, along with two days of strength training. Virtually any activity that elevates the heart rate, such as mowing the lawn or dancing, qualifies as cardiovascular activity.
Cardio helps strengthen the heart and lungs, improves overall health and longevity, and builds endurance and stamina.
Making exercise a lifelong habit is essential for reaping the physical and mental health benefits. Find enjoyable activities to make fitness more sustainable, emphasizing the importance of consistency in establishing a fitness routine. Once a suitable activity is found, committing to it and considering it the new norm contributes to long-term success in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Do you have a plan for how you can increase your daily caloric expenditure without more exercise? Share your thoughts in the comments below.