What are you doing right now, being still or something else? If you are not moving around, you may be suffering from a sedentary lifestyle. As explained by the American Heart Association, increasing physical activity does not mean a person must train in a state-of-the-art gym. The simplest steps have a dramatic impact on health, and people may improve their activity at home, work or during recreational activities. To improve your level of physical activity, see a Washington Physical Therapy & Rehab physical therapist, and start following these tips today.
1. Do Your Own Housework.
Improved physical activity during physical therapy reduces risk for coronary and cardiovascular problems, reports the American Physical Therapy Association’s PT in Motion. One of the best ways to improve physical activity begins in your own home. Do your own chores, regardless of whether they are indoors or outside. Of course, always be vigilant of your surroundings, especially possible dangers that may result in a fall.
2. Park Further Away From Store Entrances.
Parking further away from entrances to stores or even the workplace means a person will need to take more steps to reach a destination. As a result, heart rate increases, and with continued activity, cardiovascular muscle tone improves. This is the same effect as walking on a treadmill in a physical therapist’s office or engaging in any other exercise.
3. Get off the Bus a Few Blocks Early.
Another excellent idea for walking more is to get off the bus a block or two early. This follows the benefits noted by parking further away from entrances too. While this might not be possible for those that drive to work or the store, they still have the option to park a few blocks away, provided towing restrictions do not exist.
4. Dance With the Music.
Yes, dancing when you hear music is exercise. It stimulates the body’s cells, and with time, a person’s endurance increases. Also, music while walking helps pass the time and encourages a person to continue. More notably, listening to music has been shown to help people with mental health problems, such as Parkinson’s, control their movements and walk more, says the National Institutes of Health.
5. Consider Investing in a Standing Desk.
Sitting for prolonged periods is associated with a dramatic increase in risk of premature death, reports the Mayo Clinic. Instead of sitting for too long, consider standing to perform work at the desk or computer. In fact, consider investing in a converting sit-to-standing desk. This desk raises the workstation, and it allows a person to sit and rest when necessary.
6. Take Advantage of Apps That Encourage Physical Activity.
There are thousands of apps available on iTunes and Google Play that promote an active lifestyle. Even Google Fit can remind users to get up from a sitting position, drink water and more. Google Fit also tracks movement with “Move Minutes’ Goals,” which help people see their progress. Also, many apps do not cost anything to download or explore.
7. Work With a Physical Therapist to Develop an Active, Healthy Lifestyle.
For those that have already suffered a major cardiovascular event, such as a stroke, improving physical activity in conjunction with physical therapy, reduces risk for subsequent health problems, reports the AHA.
Apply These Tips in Your Life to Reduce Your Risk and Pain.
A sedentary lifestyle comes with significant health risks. The Mayo Clinic continues with how sitting too much and not getting enough physical activity leads to increased mortality rates comparable to smoking or severe obesity. Yet, simply moving around more negates the adverse effects of sitting time. Thus, people with more physical activity may have longer, healthier and even happier lifespans. Start applying these tips in your life now, and learn more about how you can improve your physical activity by scheduling a physical therapy appointment with our Kirkland, WA office today.