Walk while you talk
iStock/filadendronPace around while you talk on the phone. Whether you're on a conference call or on hold with a pharmacy, you'll rack up more steps—and burn more calories—in no time. According to a recent study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that walking for 15 minutes at an easy pace can burn about three times as many calories as sitting or standing. If that's not enough, here are 15 benefits of a 15-minute walk.
Change your parking spot
iStock/123ducuParking further away from the store guarantees you take more steps per day, and you won’t have to go through the headache of circling the parking lot for the closest spot only to have someone else swoop in and steal it.
Get up at work
iStock/kupicooTurn one-on-one discussions or brainstorming sessions into walking meetings, and you'll get those creative juices flowing. That's not just an idiom. Stanford researchers found that walking inside or outside boosts creativity. They measured creativity in terms of divergent thinking, or coming up with many possible solutions to an issue. Participants were asked to think of alternative uses for a given object while walking on a treadmill indoors, sitting inside, walking outdoors, or being pushed in a wheelchair outside. Creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when participants were brainstorming while walking.
Choose stairs. Always.
iStock/nd3000See that elevator? It doesn't exist. There are only stairs. If you want steps, you need to take the stairs. Even escalators will do, as long as you walk up instead of going for a ride.
Do yard work
iStock/vitrancTake a stroll through your yard and pick the weeds you happen to pass. Cut out a chunk of time every day to freshen up your garden. In fact, the University of Arkansas found that women aged 50 and over who gardened at least once a week had higher bone density than those who exercised in other ways, like jogging or aerobics. (These are silent signs you might have osteoporosis.)
Take a full lunch break
iStock/ridofranzWorking through lunch has become a common workplace practice, but breaking that habit gets you on your feet and makes you healthier. This is what happy, healthy people do on their lunch breaks.