This is day 13 of the first edition of the book 2 Weeks to Health, a 2-week course designed to kick start a healthier life. The expanded and reworked second edition is set to be released in the summer of 2018.
“Limiting the time you’re inactive is even more important than exercise.” – Tom Rath
Small changes can make a big difference. If you consciously think of ways to make yourself more active throughout the day, then you can improve your health by changing only small things in your everyday life.
Desk jobs will often require you to sit for 8 hours per day, and humans are not made to be sitting down for that long. There are a few tricks to get yourself moving during the workday. First, park far away from the entrance. Force yourself to walk a little bit from your car to the office, the parking spot right by the door is not the best one for your health. Instead of sending an email or calling someone you work with, walk to their office and see if they are available to talk. If not, ask when they are and walk back to their office later. When you have a quick break, spend it doing a couple exercises or stretches instead of checking social media. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if you work on the 10th floor. Organize your workspace so that you are required to stand up when you need to use the printer, file documents, or answer the phone. Start by implementing a couple of these and turn them into habits, then add more as you see fit. Sitting all day is horrible for your health, so forcing yourself to move around a little bit more will help with your fitness and weight loss goals.
There are also ways to stay more active at home. On average, American adults watch about 5 hours of TV per day. Just imagine what you could accomplish with your health if you just cut back on one of those hours, or exercised while watching TV. Think for a second about what you do when you are at home or with your family. It probably involves a lot more sitting, right? Just like at work, at home the small changes can make a big difference to your health. Walking your dog, playing outdoors with your kids, cleaning your house, playing active video games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and even cooking can get you up and moving around at home.
Becoming and staying healthy requires a lot of work, at least at first. Once you get into the habit of eating healthy, going for long walks with your dog, working out 5 days per week, and however else you choose to live healthier, it is no longer a lot of work, it becomes a lifestyle.