These days, many of us spend long hours at a desk, on the couch or basically not moving all that much- living sedentary lifestyles. Moving our bodies around the house or the office expends energy: not a lot, but enough to make a difference by the end of the day, especially if you accumulate lots of little movements throughout the day.
Incidental exercise is any exercise or physical activity that is part of your daily routine. This can include walking around the supermarket and doing household chores such as vacuuming! Incorporating more incidental exercise into your daily routine is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall general health and fitness. Sitting down and getting up, walking around, a flight of stairs, cleaning, taking out the garbage- all these little tasks that make up our modern lives slowly chip away at our energy reserves.
Add this extra activity to a few more formalized exercise regimens, and you can be well on your way to surprising fitness improvements and weight loss. Take the stairs rather than the lift, walk a couple blocks rather than jump on a tram, and hang up some loads of washing rather than just using the tumble dryer are all ways you can increase your incidental exercise.
If you’re noticing that you’re a little more sedentary than you’d prefer, put it into a measurable context and get yourself a pedometer. Ideally, you want to be clocking up about 8000 to 10,000 steps a day. Walking a couple blocks to work each day can certainly help clock up some steps!
In our ever increasingly busy lives, it can sometimes be hard to fit in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Try increasing your incidental exercise on these days. Although we shouldn’t use excuses, and should always try find time and prioritize exercise and a healthy lifestyle- any incidental exercise is better than sitting on our butts all day.
Check out this video for a laugh- but a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily tasks!