Move More Month is a campaign created by the American Heart Association in an effort to help adults add more physical activity to their day. After all, many adults don’t get the recommended exercise they need.
If that sounds like you, no shame. You don’t have to make radical changes to your habits and sign up to run a marathon (unless you truly want to), but there are smaller bursts of movement you can fit in throughout your day that get your heart rate up and burn a few extra calories.
Here’s how you can fit in more activity throughout the day (and some are fun, too). The AHA recommends aiming for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week.
10 Simple Habits For Move More Month
#1 Dance a Little
Throw on your favorite song while cooking and get moving and grooving. Or dance it out while getting ready in the morning. Who cares if you can carry a beat? Grab that air microphone, belt out Beyonce, and by the time the song is over, you’ll have done a heart-pumping five minutes of exercise.
#2 Climb Your Stairs
Take a break from work and walk up the stairs in your home a few times. You can take this at any pace you want — walk slowly or jog or run up them quickly for a bigger burn. Every minute of stairs is about 5-10 calories burned! Trust us, it adds up. No stairs in your home? No problem. Walk around each room and down the hall. Every step counts.
#3 Make Errands Active
Do you need to get a couple of items from the grocery store, fill a prescription, mail a letter, or drop off dry cleaning? Why not make it an active errand. Can you walk or bike there safely? You’ll easily be able to get in a 20-minute walk or 10-minute ride while checking something off your to-do list.
#4 Stretch Before Bed
Winding down with a slow flow or simple stretch can be a nice end cap to a stressful day. Try holding your favorite yoga pose (such as a child’s pose, pigeon, or seated forward bend) for as long as it feels good for your body.
#5 Take a Break
If you sit at your computer all day, your muscles are begging for movement. Get up more often — set a timer for every hour if you can. Walk around your workspace, do a few jumping jacks, or even bust out a few pushups or squats. By getting the blood moving, you’ll be once again ready to dive into work — It’s a productivity hack, too! The best part? It works for your kids! Research shows active children have increased attention and cognitive processing speed compared to their non-active peers. Make it a family affair!
#6 Stand up
It’s so common to turn off your computer and head straight for the couch + TV. If that’s you, it’s totally fine to rest and recharge, but you can make it more active, too. Rather than skipping through the commercials, keep them on and use them as an opportunity to at least stand up and stay on your feet. Once up, you might opt to just stand there or add in more movement by raising up on your toes and back down to your heels, doing a few arm circles, or even fitting in a set or two of lunges or burpees. Try this for at least one commercial break per show.
#7 Play With Your Pup
Dogs are great for being your active partner in crime — they’re always up to go outside no matter the weather. Take things up a notch from your regular walking routine and run around the yard with them or head to a local forest preserve for an afternoon of exploring.
#8 Get Outside
As a family, can you head out and play catch, toss a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball around? It may just become your favorite way to bond.
#9 Take on a Challenge
Hold a plank-a-day for 30 days. Do 20 sit-ups before bed. Start with X number of pushups and then work your way up to X by the end of the month. Micro fitness challenges can keep you motivated in small ways that will make you feel really good about the goal you’ve accomplished once the time is up. And then? Set a new goal and get after it.
#10 Fit in a Commute
Are you still working from home (or hybrid), take that time in the beginning of your workday and after to mimic a commute. Get up and out your door to walk around your block or throw on a five-minute workout. Repeat twice and you’ve got a 10-minute workout in the books at least — and look, you didn’t even have to make time for it.
Here’s to Moving More All Year Long!
No matter what you opt to do, one thing’s for sure: Each step and every bit of movement counts toward keeping your body healthy.