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Even though most of us are keenly aware of the importance of exercise, it can sometimes be difficult to incorporate a workout into a busy day. We even join gyms and fitness studios and still fail to take full advantage of their benefits. It is no secret that an active lifestyle directly helps maintain body weight and improve our overall health and wellbeing. So, how can we become more disciplined about staying active and fitting fitness into our day?

Get up earlier

Check exercise off your list at the beginning of the day and be amazed at the results! It’s easy to take care of business when you start off your day with a brisk walk, workout or visit to the yoga studio. Planning ahead and getting to bed earlier will help you make it happen.

Extend poochie’s playtime

Most dog owners know that their furry friends just can’t get enough fresh air and exercise. If you take daily walks with your dog, try adding an extra 15 minutes onto the excursion. Your pup will love it and you’ll get your heart pumping as an added benefit. Have young kids or grandkids? They’ll also be thrilled with a little playtime. Get off the bench at the park and join them in a game of tag, swinging on the swings, or let them school you on the monkey bars.

Take the stairs or go the long way

Whether working in an office setting or at home, there are small things each of us can do to amp up our activity level. Taking the stairs instead of riding up a few floors in a stuffy elevator is an obvious choice. When you park the car, head for the outer, further away spaces. If you use public transportation, get off the bus or the train one or two stops before your final destination and walk the rest of the way. You can also allow a little extra time to add some distance to routine trips. For example, rather than loading up on files and folders at the office or groceries and laundry at home, lighten the load and take two trips to get from point A to B. Your back and body will thank you.

Stand up

Perhaps you’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking”? Change your home and office routine by completing tasks while standing as much as possible as opposed to sitting. Rather than perching on a bar stool at the kitchen counter to prep meals, stand! Keep in mind that making the switch from sitting to standing can be an adjustment. Learn more about stand up desks: Stand Up Desk Users May Benefit from Massage

Walk and talk

Rather than the usual “let’s do lunch” approach, try a walk and talk instead. When the weather permits, a simple, quick bite to eat followed by a 30-minute stroll can work wonders, not only for our well-being, but for creativity and mental clarity too.

Isometrics

At your desk, in line at the bank or folding laundry at home, isometric movement such as tightening and relaxing certain muscles is an easy way to get in a mini-workout. Rising on the balls of your feet a few times or shifting weight from one foot to the other, slowly and deliberately is another. Always use controlled movement and breathe deeply to enhance the experience.

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