5 easy ways to be more active

If you want to live healthy, being active is a great way to boost your efforts. Here are five simple ways to build more exercise into your routines, energizing daily life:

Park a few blocks from work or stores.

It’s tempting to search for that “ideal” parking spot close to where you’re going. But really, what good does that do? Take the opportunity to raise your activity by parking a few blocks away. It’ll take the stress out of hunting for that rare spot by the front door.

Take public transportation; get off a stop or two early.

Public transportation gives you double the benefit over driving. You get to walk to the bus stop or transit station and your final destination. Make it a round trip and you get four times the benefit. When you’re feeling up for it, hop off a stop or two early to get some air and stretch your legs.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you have full mobility—no joint or balance concerns—the stairs are your friend. Always grab a handrail, just in case. Make stairs a habit and you’ll likely see strength and endurance gains.

Don't zone out. Zoom on.

Add activity to watching TV, like riding an exercise bike.

If you must watch the tube, don’t zone out, zoom on. Build your activity levels over time by working out until the first commercial break, then the second … then all the way through the entire show. That way, TV can be your automatic timer and training buddy. If you don’t own an exercise machine, try lifting hand weights or doing exercises like squats and knee lifts. And don’t forget to stretch!

Instead of going out for dinner with a friend, take a walk.

Save cash and calories—while saving your friend the same. Make buddy walks a regular habit and soon you’ll be eager to step on that scale. Don’t forget to bring water.

by Julian Rogers