Easy Ways To Increase Your Daily Movement (+ Enjoy It)
Getting daily movement in can be so hard, especially if you hate doing it. No one likes forcing themselves to do things they don’t like. It’s just not the best way or most productive way to do things. But, how are you supposed to exercise daily when you hate it?
The answer is: start enjoying it. Now, I know you are sitting there thinking if it was just that simple I would have done it already. However, I believe everyone can enjoy moving their bodies it just takes the right movement.
When I started my workout journey I tried to force myself into a specific routine because that’s what the TikTok girlys were doing. Spoiler alert… it didn’t last long.
I want to share with you how to create a sustainable and enjoyable movement schedule. I like the term movement schedule because the movement doesn’t need to be a gym workout. It’s all about moving your body in whatever way works for you.
Why daily movement is good
If you look on the internet you will see several different standards for how much you should move daily. There are step counts, minutes you should move, heart rates you should hit, and so on.
I think the most popular stat is that you should get 10,000 steps a day. While that is a great goal and in a perfect world we should all do that, I have found 10,000 steps to be difficult in my day-to-day life. However, do whatever is right for you.
Some people have more active jobs which would make that step goal easy while others (like me) might sit at a desk all day and struggle to get even half of that. Both are okay and just mean your movement will need to be done in different ways.
Benefits of moving your body daily
There are many benefits of getting your body moving every day but some of the bigger ones include:
- Improved heart health
- Improved brain health
- Reduces risk of disease
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Helps manage weight
So on the most surface level, movement is good!
If you want to look deeper, movement affects every part of your life. Your physical health benefits but so does your mental health, sexual health, and more.
It has been shown that moving daily has an impact on your hormone levels (specifically estrogen and testosterone). Physical movement can regulate the hormones which can help with healthy sexual functioning in both men and women.
There is also research showing that movement can help you sleep better. Sleep is so important for your overall health. Not only does it allow your body to rest and recover but it also improves your mood and overall mental health.
- Easy Ways To Start Working Out At Home
- A New Workout Routine To Try If You’re In A Rut
- 10 Successful Tricks To Fit Workouts Into A Busy Schedule
Ways to enjoy moving your body
There is no right or wrong way to move and get some exercise in. I am a big believer in intuitive movement (which means doing what your body feels like doing/ doing what your body needs).
I have tried strict workout schedules and plans. They work, don’t get me wrong. If you have specific fitness goals those programs are great. However, I never found them sustainable because I didn’t like them.
I would dread working out and then I would ultimately skip it and feel horrible about myself. The easiest way I have found to stay active no matter what is finding movement that you enjoy doing AND being flexible.
There are many ways you can move. Finding what you like may take some trial and error. I have tried many different types of workouts and movement. Some were great and others… not so much. There is no way to know what you’ll enjoy without trying! So be open to trying new things.
Ways to get daily movement in while indoors:
- Hit the gym
- Walk on the treadmill
- Get a mini stepper for your home
- YouTube workouts
- Fitness classes like kickboxing, barre, or pole dancing
- Dance classes
- Sports like soccer, floor hockey, or volleyball
- Take the stairs
- Play with your pets
- Do some physical household chores like laundry, pantry organization, or cleaning
- Switch to a standing desk
- Stretch or do light exercises while watching TV
- Play Wii games
- Window shop at the mall on rainy days
- At-home dance parties
- Join a local dodgeball team
Ways to get daily movement in while outdoors:
- Walking around the neighborhood (aka hot girl walks)
- Running at a track
- Yard work
- Beach volleyball (or even just walking/running on the beach)
- Park at the back of the parking lot and walk
- Take your dog to the park to play
- Chase your kids around at the playground
- Outdoor fitness classes like yoga or CrossFit
- Swim in the ocean or lake
- Paddle a kayak
- Walk to the store instead of drive
- Go for a bike ride or ride your bike to work
- Jump rope
- Practice your long jump
Ways to get more movement in at work:
- Walk while you take calls
- Get outside for a walk during lunch or other breaks
- Get a standing desk or walking pad if possible
- Do chair stretches and other sitting exercises
- Drink more water so you make more trips to the bathroom
- Set a timer to stand up and move as much as you want (I try to move at least every 30 minutes even if it’s just standing up)
- Walk to a local coffee shop with your co-workers
- Walk to communicate instead of calling or emailing
- Calf raises while at the printer
- Start a movement challenge with co-workers
- Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair
Ways to get movement in if you are “too busy”:
- 10-minute YouTube workout videos
- Walk in place while brushing your teeth or doing other tasks
- Schedule movement times in your calendar
- Take your meeting or date with a friend outside and walk
- Wake up earlier and join a fitness class
- End your day with some stretching
- Squats while your coffee brews
- Avoid drive-thrus and go inside to get more steps
- Start a physical hobby with your family like woodworking or golfing
- Take the stairs everywhere you go
- Start a challenge that you can break up throughout the day (100 squats a day, 80 push-ups a day, etc.). If you do 10 at a time you would only need to take a few short breaks every day.
Tips for making daily movement a habit
Habits really are the backbone of improvement. Being motivated only lasts so long, your desires can slip through the cracks, but habits—they can withstand some turbulence.
On the surface level, creating a habit involves four things: a cue, craving, response, and reward. This is how any habit is built whether it’s a positive one like working out or a negative one like smoking.
Here are some tips to build a habit of movement.
1 – set out your workout clothes the night before
Seeing your workout clothes will prompt you to work out. If you plan on going for a walk in the morning, put your shoes right by the door. If you are going to a fitness class, pack your gym bag and leave it on the kitchen counter.
2 – schedule daily movement
Getting a notification that it’s time to walk is a great cue for movement. You could create an alarm on your phone for when you want to leave for your walk or you could schedule a break in your day to do some yard work.
3 – do your movement at the same time each day
Regardless of what the movement is, keep it consistent by doing it at the same time daily. If you have free time at 7am, schedule that time for walks, gardening, cleaning the house, going to the gym, doing 100 squats, etc. Your brain will start to automatically know that 7am means movement.
4 – track your movement
Habit tracking is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Create a space in your calendar that says “movement” which 7 boxes next to it. Tick a box each day that you successfully get movement in.
Here is a helpful post about how to track your goals that can help with habit tracking!
5 – create a pre-workout routine
This could be anything you do before you work out but you need to do it every time so the routine cues the workout. You could eat a protein bar or do your hair in a certain way or stretch!
Getting movement in daily is really good for you and should be a priority. It doesn’t need to be a super sweaty workout and it doesn’t need to take an hour.
Making sure you get some extra steps in and standing up more often are simple ways to start.
If you don’t like exercising but want to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life, there are many ways to do that (like those listed above). I love to go on walks around the neighborhood and have recently started using the elliptical in my building’s gym!
I also find doing housework gets my heart rate up and I feel tired after so I would consider that good movement.
The (not so secret) secret to daily movement is to enjoy it. Find things you like to do or can even just tolerate doing and go from there. I bet that once you create more of a habit your body and mind will start looking forward to that movement!
What do you like to do for movement?