To get you started, below we offer some ideas that show how Steps-and-Bursts can be added to even the busiest of lives, whether you work inside or outside of your home.
- Good Morning Burst: Before you start your day, make breakfast for the kids or step into the shower, do a quick Burst. For 10 minutes, turn on some music and dance around the room or run in place. Work hard. Not only will this wake you up better than a double espresso Latte, but you’ll burn anywhere between 50-80 calories.
- Rev up Your Commute: If you commute by train or bus, take a brisk walk to the station in nice weather instead of driving. If you drive, park a few blocks further away than you normally would so you can pick up a few hundred extra steps. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad who doubles as the family chauffeur, drive kids to school and then come home and do another Burst, or stop to do one or two in the park or on a track. A brisk ten minute walk will add about 1,000 steps to your count and burn between 40-50 calories.
- Pace During Phone Calls: At your office or at home, make it a point to stand and walk around while you talk on the phone. Burn between 30-50 calories extra per hour simply by standing up.
- Standing Room for Meetings: If you’re in an office where people tend to hold a lot of meetings, suggest a “standing room” option for those who don’t choose to sit. While you’re standing, you can tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Climb-Up: Opt for the stairs wherever and whenever you can. Avoid escalators on your commute. Walk up a few flights of stairs when you get to work. At home, if you’re washing laundry in the basement, do two laps up and down the steps in between loads.
- Make the Most of Your Breaks: Instead of taking a coffee break during the late morning, recharge yourself with a quick 10-minute walk outdoors. Carve 15 minutes from your lunch hour to take a brisk walk, climb the steps or run or march in place in your office.
- Real Face Time: Don’t text or e-mail co-workers, walk over to their offices and have a conversation.
- See You at the Water Cooler: Fill your water bottle half way so that you have to keep getting up for a refill.
- Chair Squats: Every twenty minutes, stand up from your chair and sit down. Repeat ten times. Watch your posture—tuck your stomach in and keep your head and shoulders in a neutral position.
- Soccer Mom Burst: Are you sitting still while your children are running on the field or playground? Get up and do some Bursts, like running in place.
- Sunset Burst: Take five minutes when you get home to do a quick Burst. Dance around the living room. Jog in place. Dust off your home exercise machine and actually use it to work out. If you have children, encourage them to join you. This will help your kids develop good habits early in life.
When you start tracking and strategizing, you’ll see how simple it is to seamlessly incorporate physical activity into your life. It may take a bit of time to retrain your brain but, eventually, moving around will come as naturally and effortlessly to you as breathing. Sitting around for hours on end will feel strange and unnatural.