Daily Habits That Exercise Your Body Without You Knowing
Think about how you feel when you’re in a good mood. Do you feel happy and energized? Or do you feel relaxed? Maybe you’re somewhere in between. When our emotions are positive, we tend to be more energetic and engaged. Positive emotions can foster resilience and enjoyment of life. In contrast, negative emotions like stress and anxiety can lead to fatigue and low motivation.
Your daily habits play a crucial role in how you feel. You can do many little things throughout the day that help build your energy and improve your mood.
Here are simple habits that can help exercise your body without too much effort.
- Do some desk stretches.
It’s common for office workers and students to sit for long hours every day, but did you know that sitting too much increases your risk of premature death? The good news is that standing for just half the day can help prevent obesity and lower your risk of osteoporosis.
A 2012 study by an American researcher found that people who spent less than three hours per day sitting experienced around 3% more bone formation than their sedentary counterparts. This helps increase bone density, which is especially useful for older people and those in danger of developing osteoporosis.
So instead of sitting at your desk for eight hours a day, try standing or walking around for at least part of that time. You should also avoid sitting down when you’re on the phone or watching TV.
- Park farther away from the entrance.
When you have a choice, park farther from the door. This will force you to walk more, which is a great way to burn calories.
- Vacuum and sweep often.
Vacuuming is a great way to burn 100 calories or more during a 30-minute house cleaning session. You can also try sweeping for another easy way to burn calories while staying at home.
- Skip the elevator and use the stairs.
The next time you’re going up one floor or less, skip the elevator and take the stairs. This will challenge your legs, but it will also challenge your heart and lungs, making these muscles stronger with greater endurance over time. The World Health Organization recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. That’s equivalent to about 30 minutes of exercise every day. You don’t have to hit the gym or go for a run to achieve this target.
You can burn significantly more calories simply by taking the stairs instead of an elevator. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person who walks up to five flights of stairs burns about 35 calories — and doing so is equivalent to running a mile in 12 minutes, which is considered a brisk pace.
- Chew gum.
There are many reasons why chewing gum may be suitable for your health. It’s been shown to boost concentration and improve memory. But some studies suggest that it can help reduce weight loss. One study found that people chewed gum for an hour in the morning could help them eat less at lunchtime.
- Drinking plenty of water.
Drinking enough water is vital for health, but many adults do not drink as much as they should. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sweetened drinks are often relatively high in calories and can contribute to weight gain over time while drinking more water has the opposite effect.
- Washing dishes.
Who knew doing the dishes could be so good for you? Standing at the sink for 15 minutes burns about 40 calories. And if you use hot water and need to dry dishes, you’re burning even more.
Cooking takes time and effort — so it makes sense that it burns calories too. A study found that cooking burns around 35 calories per hour and adds up to 30 minutes of daily activity per week.
- Brushing teeth.
Like washing the dishes, brushing your teeth is a chore we all have to do at least twice a day — so why not make the most of it? Brushing for 2 minutes (or however long is recommended by your dentist) burns three calories. So that means six calories burned per day just from this habit alone!
- Dance around the house.
Who doesn’t love dancing? You can turn on your favorite playlist and dance around the house for 20 minutes each day. It’s a way to have fun while taking care of your body simultaneously. This is a great way to relieve stress and boost energy levels in preparation for a new day. If you don’t want anyone to see you dancing alone in your room or living room, just put on those headphones and jam!
- Eat breakfast.
If you make time for breakfast every day and eat at home, you’ll probably eat less later in the day. Having a healthy breakfast high in fiber and low in sugar, fat, and calories is vital. Taking time to eat will also slow you down, so you don’t feel rushed when you head out the door in the morning.
- Go to Sleep at a Reasonable Hour
It sounds obvious, but if you want to feel your best, then you must get enough sleep. Most experts recommend that we get 6 to 10 hours of sleep per night.
Turn off your phone and computer at least an hour before bed, and avoid vigorous exercise in the late evening. These measures will help you wind down when it’s time for sleep.