Have you heard of incidental exercise? This is physical activity that you’re already doing in the course of your day, like performing household chores, or walking to and from public transport. The more incidental exercise you do, the better your health and fitness, says Diabetic Living accredited exercise physiologist Christine Armarego. In fact, studies have shown that doing as little as 2-3 minutes of moderate-to-intense exercise every two hours can significantly improve your blood glucose levels.
Although incidental exercise doesn’t replace a structured workout, it is a great way to build your fitness and stay healthy. Get started by giving these a go:
1. Instead of watching your kids and grandkids play in the backyard or local park – join in the action with them!
2. Get off public transport a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way home or to work.
3. Used to spending your lunch break at your desk? Get up and go for a 10-20 minute walk outside instead – this can also boost your concentration and help you power through the rest of the afternoon.
4. Where possible, climb the stairs instead of taking the lift. Riding the escalator? Walk up it instead of standing still.
5. If you like to channel surf during the ad breaks, leave the remote on the coffee table and get up to change the channel instead.
6. Show your garden some TLC! You’ll get a great workout and make it look gorgeous at the same time. Win-win!
7. Make a commitment to stand up every half hour, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Set an alarm on your phone or computer as a reminder.
8. Do a top-to-bottom clean of your house or apartment at least once a month. Washing windows, vacuuming, sweeping the floor and making the beds will all help you burn those kilojoules.
9. Pace up and down, or do a few stretches while you’re chatting on your phone.
10. Hitting the shopping centre this weekend? Instead of having a fixed destination, use it as an opportunity to go for a walk, and visit every floor for a spot of window shopping.