Physical activity tips - Keep on moving
Most people in the UK spend long amounts of time sitting down. At work, many of us have jobs where we sit at a desk all day. At home, we are spending more time doing sedentary activities like watching television, surfing the Internet or reading.
Spending long periods of time sitting down can contribute to weight gain. But breaking up the time you spend sitting will help you control your weight.
Even small bits of activity are good for you
People often feel that they don’t have enough time to be more active. And for many of us, it is indeed difficult to find a large block of time to devote to activity.
But activity need not be done in a single energetic bout - frequent, smaller movements can also be beneficial to your health.
You can be more active each day by doing bits of housework like cleaning or washing, doing chores like putting the rubbish out, changing your working day so you spend less time sitting down, or even fidgeting. When it comes to activity, every little bit counts if it means you are sitting less.
Incorporating small changes into your lifestyle will increase the amount of movement and activity you do each day. If you lead a very inactive lifestyle, your first goal should be to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down. Try and seize the small opportunities to work a bit more activity into your schedule. Here are some tips for doing this:
- Don’t use the remote control, get up and turn the channel over using the TV set.
- Stand up for 10mins in every hour of watching TV, do the ironing or put the washing away. This will burn extra calories each hour than just sitting.
- Stand and wash the dishes after each meal, rather than letting a day’s worth build up.
- Break up your sitting time by doing your chores like putting the rubbish out or doing the washing up.
- Some activities can be done in front of a TV, including lifting free weights, stretching or rope skipping. Try learning how to juggle - it’s both light exercise and a nice party trick.
- At work, break from sitting at your desk; collect work from the printer, or deliver a message, rather than sending an email or phoning.
- In morning breaks at work, take the post to the post box rather than waiting until the end of the day.
- Stand on the bus or train, rather than sitting. This burns an extra 70 calories for every hour of travelling.
Our Ten Top Tips page has more advice on reaching a healthy body weight through healthy eating and physical activity. Ten Top Tips is a programme for weight loss through lifestyle changes that you can fit into your daily routine.
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