Try doing something healthy for yourself every day. Here are 31 ways to add physical activity to your day!

  1. Set a long term goal and several short term goals following the SMART goal model.
  2. Hydrate yourself – 6-8, 8 oz glasses (more or less depending on your activity level).
  3. Increase your steps by 2,000 steps. Take the dog for a walk, or volunteer at a dog shelter in your community — or, grab a friend or family member for a walk and catch-up session.
  4. Strength Exercise: Sit in a chair, then stand up. That’s 1 repetition. Perform 8-12 repetitions (use arm rests if needed for support), 1-3 times.
  5. Looking to lose weight or improve a biometric number (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, etc)? Contact your primary care provider to find out if there is free health coaching to help get you started.
  6. Take the stairs or take the elevator to the floor below yours, then take one flight of stairs, slowly increasing your flights.
  7. Stretch! Take the time during your day to stretch. Hold each stretch for a brief 5-10 seconds.
  8. Strength Exercise: While seated, pull the shoulders back into a neutral position, chest in the air, with the belly button drawn in towards the spine (maintain your breath). Perform 5 repetitions.
  9. How many fruits and vegetables are you getting? Aim for three vegetables and two fruits daily! (Read “22 Ways to Add Fruit to Your Diet”)
  10. 10 minutes at a time is fine! Spread your 30 minutes of physical activity throughout the day. Three 10-minute movement sessions to start.
  11. Strength Exercise: While seated with feet flat on the floor. Extend one leg out so that it is parallel with the floor. Hold for 1-3 seconds and slowly lower to the floor. Alternate legs for 8-12 repetitions.
  12. Check with your local parks and recreation for free offerings happening.
  13. Set reminders on your phone or computer to get up and move just as you would a meeting or doctor appointment. Set a reminder for every hour or more.
  14. Sleep is important for improved health, fitness and overall well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep at night.
  15. Strength Exercise: For both strength and balance, stand next to a stable object, while maintaining good posture, lift one foot off the ground 3-6 inches. Hold for 5 seconds and alternate legs. 5 times each leg.
  16. Strive to make every meal last 20 minutes and enjoy your meal (actually makes us eat less!).
  17. Exercise early in the day as you get a 12-hour mood boost. If you exercise late in the day you’ll sleep through the mood boost.
  18. Before bed and when you wake up, take the time to do some light stretching.
  19. Strength Exercise: Standing next to a wall with feet at about hip width. Raise up on your toes with your heels in the air. Return to the floor. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions. 1-3 times.
  20. Eat regularly (every four hours). The longer you wait the more likely you’ll choose an unhealthy meal or snack.
  21. Reassess your short term goals. What are your barriers? How will you overcome these barriers? What new goals may you create?
  22. Try to order first at a dinner with friends. If you order something healthy, your friends will, too!
  23. Strength Exercise: While on all fours and belly button drawn in towards the spine, bring yourself up into a pushup position.  Hands under your shoulders, looking down at the floor. Aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Slowly increasing the time holding the position over a period of weeks/months.
  24. Use warm or yellow colored lighting to make it easier to fall asleep and increase the quality of your sleep.
  25. Create barrier labels to unhealthy snacks to avoid consuming them. For example: Lollipop = Sugar Stick.
  26. Buy use it or lose it foods. Foods that spoil faster tend to have less preservatives and more healthy nutrients.
  27. Strength: Grocery bag curls. Use your environment to help improve your movement throughout the day. Perform 8-12 repetitions in each arm with your groceries (Use a light bag).
  28. Does the shoe fit? Ill-fitting shoes can create daily discomfort and discourage physical activity. Make sure your footwear sets you up for success!
  29. Involve family and friends with your goals. This will increase your rate of success with your goals!
  30. Strength: While on all fours with belly button drawn in towards the spine, lift one arm straight up so that it is parallel with the floor. Switch arms and also repeat this movement with the legs. 3  – 5 repetitions on each limb.
  31. Strive for movement throughout your day.

From the Employee Wellness Team at The University of Vermont Medical Center. 

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