We take the car for granted in helping us to get around - even for short journeys. There are too many gadgets to make life easy for us. Remote controls, so we can just sit on the sofa and not even move to change channels, food mixers, bread machines all reduce the amount of energy expended.
Normal, everyday life can and should involve activity. With a little thought it can be easy to increase our overall activity level in easy, less expensive ways than going to the gym or taking an exercise class. Sensible exercise is about not overdoing it, increasing your activity levels overall.
- Walking instead of driving, especially if the local shop is only a 10 minute walk away!
- Walk the children to school - in the UK many people live with in easy walking distance.
- Using the stairs instead of the lift/elevator. If you work a few floors up this can have a significant impact on your health. Stairs are hard work and you'll rapidly see the difference.
- Getting off the bus a stop earlier. Even just a short walk makes a difference.
- Parking the car further away from the shops.
- Get up and move every hour if you have a sedentary job.
- Do it manually instead of using a gadget. Mixing, beating, whisking - making bread!
- Walk round the office to talk to someone in person instead of picking up the phone.
You don't have to be superfit but running for a bus or walking up a flight of stairs without getting totally out of breath. Even little things can make a difference - any increase in activity that you would not be doing normally is a plus.
The main thing is not to sit in one position for too long. If you work from home and spend a lot of time on the computer all day, your shoulders, arms and wrists will get tired. It's good to get up and have a good stretch every now and then. Neck, shoulders and arms. Move them around, stretch them out, stretch your back out too. If you're going to take the time to have a break and exercise at your desk you might as well get up and take a short walk outside or just a few proper stretches away from your desk. Any form of movement or change in position is better than sitting for hours on end.
Get a pedometer and see how much activity you do on a 'normal' day and then see what you can do to increase that day by day until you're doing 10,000 steps each day.