You don’t need to start hitting the gym 4-5 times a week to have a healthier lifestyle. You don’t even need to change your schedule to fit exercise. It is surprisingly easy to change your lifestyle into a healthier one, without breaking a sweat.
You don’t necessarily have to “exercise” to improve your health. All you have to do, is examine your life and see whether you can make some improvements. A study conducted by Ham et al. found that adults participating in recreational activities were likely to do that specific activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 3 hours per session.
In comparison, average exercisers finished their workouts in 60 minutes or less. You’re likely to stay active longer (possibly 3 times longer!) if you’re doing something for fun, rather than just exercising for the sake of exercising.
6 ways to stay healthy without exercising
- Improve your posture at the office. This is the easiest place to start. Try to walk and sit up straighter. Also, take two quick breaks per hour. Walk to the kitchen for water, go to the bathroom, visit a colleague for a quick chat.
A European Heart Journal study of 5,000 men and women found that the quarter who took the most breaks during the day were 1.6 inches thinner than the quarter who took the least.
- Also, replace your office chair with a stability ball.
Sitting on a regular office chair kills: According to a 2006 study, men and women who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20-40 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less.
Sitting on a stability ball improves your posture, activates the core muscles of the abdomen, back and hips. This activation helps with balance, which helps prevent falls and fall-related injuries.
- Go for a walk when feeling stressed, but not just to the fridge.
If you just needed a break, then going for a short walk around your neighborhood. If you go for a 15 minute walk twice a week, you will burn around 2,7 pounds per year.
- Wash your car. Washing your car for a year is equivalent to 15 medium-sized chocolate bars!
An average person will burn 6 calories a minute washing their car. Assuming that you spend 30 min every week cleaning your car, you will be burning 180 calories a week. That is 9,360 calories a year, which equals to 2.7 pounds a year.
- Clean the house.
Yes, you don’t want to, but it has to be done. Bonus: housework is a great calorie burner. And it can make you stronger. Apart from strengthening your muscles, you will also burn calories: An average person should burn 4 calories a minute for easy cleaning (e.g., dusting).
That is a total of 80 calories for 20 minutes of cleaning. Assuming that you devote 1 hour to house-cleaning every week, you get a total of 12,480 calories a year! That is 3.5 pounds a year for keeping a clean house!
- Play video games.
But instead of playing regular video games, invest in a virtual system. Whether you play tennis, balance yourself on boat river, or fight the evil guys in Star Wars, you will be getting a workout without actually working out.