5 Tips To Beat A Sedentary Lifestyle

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Alexandra Lozovschi

If you're stuck behind a desk all day, you might be worried about the negative impact of sedentarism on your general health and wellbeing.

It doesn't help matters at all that sitting for longer than four hours a day can substantially drive up the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other obesity-related conditions. In fact, from a cardiovascular standpoint, sitting and inactivity were found to be even worse than smoking by this 2010 study.

Luckily, there are things you can do to fix a sedentary lifestyle. Even people working more active jobs who struggle to find workout motivation can benefit from these simple life hacks that will get you moving and help you stay healthy.

Walk More

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A brisk 30-minute walk every day will do wonders for your heart health, including cutting down the risk of sudden cardiac death, the 26-year follow-up Nurses’ Health Study has discovered. Even walking for five minutes three times a day can reverse the harm to peripheral arteries in the legs caused by prolonged sitting, a 2015 study uncovered.

So make time to go for a walk either throughout the workday or when you're finally off the clock. Better yet, make it a family event and head out for a stroll through the neighborhood in the evening.


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Take The Stairs Instead Of The Elevator

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Sure, an elevator ride will get you there much faster but taking the stairs will help you get in some exercise and reap all the health benefits that follow. That includes maintaining a slim figure, as well as improving the health of your bones, joints, and muscles.

In fact, climbing the stairs is considered a vigorous-intensity physical activity and can help you burn more calories per minute than jogging, according to a 2017 study.

Ride Your Bike To Work

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Whenever possible, ditch your car and opt to ride your bike to work. If you don't have one, there are plenty of rental options available.

If bikes aren't a practical idea for you, give public transportation a chance.

"Standing on a subway platform or walking to a bus stop requires more steps than just going from your front door to your garage," says Verywell Health, citing a 2014 study linking active commuting to a lower body mass index (BMI).

Do Your Chores After Dinner

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One simple way to stay active at home at the end of the workday is to do your chores after dinner. While you might be tempted to put off housework until the weekend and simply kick up your feet and unwind, doing the dishes and wiping down countertops are standing activities that count toward beating sedentarism.

"Other chores like taking out the garbage, sweeping the floors, and vacuuming are even more physically active," notes Verywell Health.

Find An Active Hobby

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Mix work and pleasure by engaging in a hobby that will allow you to stay active while also giving you the peace of mind you need. One such idea is gardening, which can be as physically exerting as it is mentally and spiritually fullfilling.

"The American Heart Association considers general gardening to be in the category of moderate-intensity physical activity," says Verywell Health.

If you don't have a green thumb, you might want to give jogging a try -- especially since going for a slow 5-10 minute run every day can greatly reduce the risk of death from all causes, per a 2014 study.

Walking meditation will also do the trick.