Take an inclusive fitness break. By the sound of that, I bet you’re hoping my words of encouragement are to literally take a break from your hard work and physical activity regimen. While it can be a great idea to take breaks from fitness to prevent wearing yourself down, that’s not quite what I’m talking about here. Taking an inclusive fitness break means finding more time in your day to squeeze some movement in and avoiding lengthy sedentary periods of time.
Studies show that the more time you spend staying still, the greater your risk of health problems, like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, or heart problems for example. Did you know that just a two-minute fitness break every 30 minutes can help prevent or delay certain diseases? That’s all! The break does not have to be long or vigorous – the key is to just move.
No matter where you are throughout your day, finding time to fit in some type of fitness does not have to be daunting. Set a timer for yourself to move in some way every 30 minutes. Not only will you gain some active minutes but I bet you will also feel more mentally prepared and energized. Below are some ideas you can do to get moving inclusively in various locations:
Get moving while you watch TV or videos:
- When a commercial comes on during your show, do arm circles.
- Do tricep dips on the edge of the couch.
- Use resistance bands or lift cans of food.
- Ride a stationary bike or crank a hand cycle.
Get moving at work:
- Take a phone call or meeting away from your desk. Walk or push back and forth down a hallway or go outside along an accessible path.
- Do chair push-ups.
- Perform any arm exercises.
- Use a printer or copy machine on the other side of the building.
- Check out NCHPAD’s Deskercise for more inclusive moves at your desk.
Get moving while you travel:
- At stop lights, do glute squeezes, shoulder blade squeezes, or stomach squeezes.
- Get out of the car at each rest stop to move.
- Dance in your seat to music.
- Do standing or seated push-ups against your car.
You don’t have to be alone! Ask your friends, family members, or coworkers to join you in making movement a priority of your day – even if it is just two minutes at a time! And remember, any activity can be adapted to your ability. Making the behavior of moving often into a habit will support your overall health and therefore, lead to more positive lifestyle changes.