Over the course of a year, the average American spends about 293 hours behind the wheel and about 4,380 hours sitting down. That’s a lot of sedentary time! While it’s not always avoidable, leaving your car behind is one great way to get more active. Read on to learn how you can take opportunities today, and every day, to spend less time in the car and more time moving your body.
Ditch the Drive
Some places, you simply can’t walk to. Not unless you’re planning on an extended backpacking trip. However, if you’re taking the kids to the park or making a run to the store for an item or two, going by foot may be perfect! Grab the sunscreen (rain or shine), put on some comfortable shoes, and bring a hat or umbrella if you think you might need it.
Remember that bike you bought a while back? The one gathering dust in storage or slowly becoming one with the grass in the yard? It’s time to find your helmet. Wherever is too far to travel on foot, is probably accessible by bicycling!
If you already spend a lot of time driving, when it’s time to do something fun for yourself or with the family, see if you can find some local events to attend. Maybe there’s a farmer’s market, a carnival, or a music festival nearby. If you know you’re going to drive anyway, choose something close to home so you can spend less time on the road and more time enjoying what you want!
When Not Driving Is Not an Option
You might live in a state with some serious weather, or because of some other factors, being without your car is nearly impossible. We have some tips for you too! If your health and ability permit, incorporating any amount of activity into your day will always be better than doing nothing at all. Take a look at some of these options for adding movement to your day:
Take the time you spend waiting – waiting in line at the coffee shop, waiting to use the copy machine, waiting for your lunch order – to do some simple exercises. Done right, calf raises can set your legs on fire (in a good way), and they are subtle enough to do while standing in one place.
Every so often, take a moment to stretch. Stretching will increase your blood circulation and give your muscles a break from whatever position you’ve been holding them in during the day. If your responsibilities require you to sit, hunch over, stand, or type all day, your body will thank you when you give it the opportunity to do something different.
Set an alarm on your watch, phone, or computer to remind you to move. You can go up and down the stairs a few times, walk around the block, or even around your desk a few times. If none of those are good options, do some exercises from your seat. You can try some seated crunches, arm or ankle rotations, or simply tighten and release your muscles to improve blood flow.
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