Incidental exercise refers to the small amounts of movement done in your day which, when added up, results in an overall increased level of daily activity. Boosting your incidental movement is easy – it can be done in bite-size chunks so it’s really non-taxing on the body!
Getting started with incidental exercise
If you own a fitness tracker, you may have learnt that incidental exercise can certainly bridge the gap between serious fitness workouts and a completely sedentary lifestyle. Notice how easier it is for you to reach your daily target when you move around more? There are a lot of things you can do to get your heart pumping without really having to go for a run or head out to the gym!
8 great ideas for day-to-day incidental exercise
1. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift.
Stair climbing increases your heart rate and tones your legs and butt.
2. Watch TV standing up.
This will mean you're more likely to walk around or clean the house during ad breaks.
3. Park your car further away – or don’t drive at all.
How many times have you spent driving in circles looking for parking space? If you had just parked further and walked, you could have been in and out in less time (and burnt more calories)!
4. Walk around on the phone.
Take phone calls as a reminder to keep moving. Chat while doing laps to and from the letterbox rather than just sitting on the couch.
5. Carry your groceries.
Only need a few stuff from the supermarket? If you can handle the load, leave the trolley behind and carry your bags for extra steps plus a bicep and tricep workout.
6. Make your social life an active one.
Skip the wine or indulgent lunch. Meet at a park and do your chatting while walking laps or cycling.
7. Work out at work.
Use a fit ball for your chair, intermittently stand up at your desk to stretch, and take a walk down the hall every hour.
8. Use a pedometer.
Make steps a priority. These apps on your phone or wrist bands are such a great motivational tool. Wearing my Fitbit has made movement an opportunity for me rather than an inconvenience.
The importance of cycle syncing
If you also manage to include workout sessions in your week, I encourage you to consider cycle syncing your exercise. This can help you to connect with your body on a deeper level. By becoming more aware of how you are feeling during the different phases in your cycle, you’re able to reduce stress and fatigue, increase your energy levels, improve sleep quality, and help to bring balance to your endocrine system. Learn more about cycle syncing in this article.