Gym memberships have grown over almost two decades from 32.8 million in 2001 to 60.87 million in 2017. This is an encouraging statistic from the perspective of more individuals choosing to invest in their physical activity. However, making your way to a gym or any form of deliberate exercise can have its barriers, such as time availability, work or family obligations, feeling tired, not feeling motivated, routine boredom, or body self-consciousness to name a few. Despite these barriers, all is not lost.
Finding your way to other forms of physical movement
Whether you go to a gym or not, moving your body off and on throughout the day is optimal for the human body. Physical activity options can be built into daily life activities, while simultaneously providing productivity, which can be critical if you are time challenged. The key is to provide your body with different types of movement and making it enjoyable. Adding different types of music for different activities can be helpful in providing enjoyment and motivation during a physical activity.
How much physical movement is suggested?
Adults should target at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of physical movement per week. The time can be broken up throughout the day, doing 10 minutes increments of physical activity at a time. The following are some physical activity ideas to consider.
- Doing dishes
- Cleaning windows
- Cleaning a room
- Doing laundry
- Dusting high and low places
- Making trips between floors
- Playing with your kids (football toss, soccer, jump rope, badminton, etc.)
- Walking the dog
- Riding a stationary bicycle or walk on a treadmill while watching a show
- Gardening or yard clean up
- Using a push lawn mower
- Washing your car
- Emptying waste baskets and garbage
- Purging unused items and organizing
When at work you can increase your energy, focus, and productivity by integrating physical movement into your day. The following are some options to explore.
- Parking further away extending your walk to the office
- Walking or riding a bike to work
- Walking to meetings across campus
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Getting up and stretching and moving for 5 minutes within every hour.
- Incorporating chair yoga movements
- Taking a walk during lunch inside different buildings on campus during colder or hotter weather. Head outside around our beautiful tree adorned campus when you are comfortable with the weather.
Should you become inspired to do more physical movement beyond the home and work options provided, consider checking out the convenient on-campus Lifestyle Enhancement Program options that include Yoga, T’ai Chi, Badminton, Table Tennis, and Balanced Bellies and Backs.
Where do you stand in your physical wellness? Find out by taking the physical assessment.
Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! Seven is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Participants log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings and compete toward end of the year overall point totals. Participants also receive the Seven e-newsletter and information on campus wellness events.
For additional details and to sign up, visit Wellness.IllinoisState.edu/Seven.