Are you a couch potato? We’ll tell you how you can move more in your everyday life without much effort and get fitter at the same time.
If you are overweight: More exercise is important
Exercise in everyday life is often underestimated. All studies show that physical activities such as housework, gardening, walking or cycling contribute to a healthier and longer life. Very few manage the generally recommended 150 minutes per week. People who are overweight often find exercise more difficult as it can trigger (further) pain. The good news is that more exercise doesn’t have to mean a huge amount of time. With just a few changes, you can incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.
1. BMI over 30: Walk 15 minutes a day
Treat yourself and your body to a small amount of exercise every day. Literally every step and every minute counts for your health. Just 15 minutes a day will boost your health and start burning fat. For example, get off one stop before on your way to work. Do your shopping by foot. Take a short walk through the park during your lunch break. Why not order food for yourself and pick it up yourself? Maybe you can manage to add another 15 minutes?
Extra tip: A pedometer gives you a good overview of your daily activity and can be a real encouragement. Scientific studies have shown that pedometers significantly increase daily step activity.
2. Self-help for obesity: Climbing stairs makes you fit
Even if it takes some effort: Take the stairs and not the escalator or the elevator. Climbing stairs boosts your metabolism, trains your blood vessels and supplies you with oxygen. Just seven to eight minutes of brisk stair climbing per day is enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by around 20 per cent. 15 minutes of stair climbing burns between 120 and 180 kilocalories, depending on your pace. Your muscle metabolism improves, the blood vessels become more elastic, nerves and muscles work better together. This reduces the oxygen demand of the muscles. And that means less work for your heart!
3. Treating obesity: Cycling keeps you fit
Cycling is a great way to get around and lose a few kilos at the same time. Cycling is also possible anytime and anywhere. You can easily do your shopping by bike if you split up your errands a little. Another plus: Cycling stimulates the fat metabolism. Did you know that you can burn around 97 calories by cycling for 10 minutes? The longer you cycle, the more pounds you lose. Cycling is also particularly good for your heart and circulation and puts very little strain on your joints. Another plus: When cycling, almost 70 per cent of your body weight is carried by the saddle. This also makes cycling attractive for people who are overweight.
4. Take every opportunity to move more!
You think waiting time is dead time? Sorry, those days are over. Because from now on you can make good use of annoying waiting times. Waiting for the spaghetti to be ready? How about a few squats or some stretching? While waiting for the bus, you can bob up and down on your toes inconspicuously. The advert break is ideal for a few abdominal exercises. And teeth are brushed standing on one leg in the morning and evening.
5. If you are overweight, try the Pomodoro technique and Tabata training!
If you want to move regularly while working, you can try the Pomodoro technique. It works as follows: You work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute moving break, then continue working as normal. Techniques such as jumping rope, squats or jumping jacks are well suited for the 30-second workout. Even more exciting is the Tabata training. This is a high-intensity interval training programme. Your time investment: Four minutes, which even the biggest couch potatoes can manage. Tabata training has the great side effect that you build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
6. High BMI? Sit with movement, stand up, take breaks with movement!
Many of us spend most of our day sitting. Sitting is now even regarded as the new smoking. Just get up more often. All you need to do is walk around the room during a phone call or simply stand in front of your desk. And if you’re going to sit, then it’s best to sit in motion! This relieves the muscles, spine and back. Feel free to change position without restraint while sitting, the main thing is that you really wriggle around. Perhaps you have so much space in your workspace that you can vary between different seating options (Pezzi ball, knee stool, swopper, desk chair)? Another plus: Especially for people who are overweight, brief interruptions of sitting to move lower the glucose level after a meal. All it takes is a short walk around the block.
7. Obesity help without surgery: Get a dog!
If you struggle on your own and like animals, then get a dog. Studies show that dog owners get at least 30 minutes more exercise a week than people without four-legged friends. If you want to go out without your furry friends, you can join a hiking group or explore the surrounding area with family and friends. Health hiking trains endurance fitness, balance and movement coordination.