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8 Accessible Ways To Start an Active Lifestyle

Inactivity is widespread in today's culture. Many people spend most of their days in a chair or on the couch, working at the computer or scrolling through their phones. The consequences are significant: obesity, mood changes, and decreased well-being. If you're sedentary, it's not too late to change course. Fortunately, there are enjoyable, non-intimidating ways to boost your activity quotient without tiring yourself out. 

1. Walk

Human beings are built to walk. It's a rhythmic, soothing exercise that has numerous benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Consider ways you can naturally integrate gentle walking into your daily routine. Housework, yard work, and a stroll around the block all count. Need to shed some extra pounds? Try a search using terms such as walking to lose weight to find helpful guidance. 

2. Play

If there's a pet or a child in your family, incorporate some playful fun into the day. Walk together, chase balls, or play some games. You'll get in plenty of steps and burn plenty of calories, and the act of play itself is a powerful stress reliever. Are you by yourself? Act silly. Imitate actors you see on the screen. Get in touch with your childlike side. 

3. Shop

Do you do most of your shopping online now? You've got plenty of company. The convenience benefits are undeniable, but it removes a great source of physical activity. Break that routine and do some window shopping. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells. Support a local merchant. It's a painless way to get more active and connected with your community. 

4. Stretch

Stretching is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your flexibility, circulation, mobility, and state of mind. Not into stretching that much? Do a simple routine from YouTube that'll take all of five minutes. Want to go deeper? Join a yoga class or do some simple poses. Another benefit of stretching: It's good for your metabolism, which will make you burn calories at a higher rate. 

5. Dance

Dancing is an endlessly flexible way to increase your joy and self-expression. Something as simple as taking dance breaks during your workday can reset your body and mind, and boost your energy. Or, you might choose to take a class or dance around your home with a partner. It's totally up to you! Dance can be fast or slow, social or solo. Enjoy its many benefits

6. Make Music

Have you watched singers or instrumentalists closely as they perform? Most music-making involves a significant level of physical activity — not to mention mental and emotional! Consider making music an integral part of your active lifestyle. If you used to play an instrument and loved it, pick it up again and play alone or with a group. Learn a brand-new instrument if you're curious; it's never too late. Sing in the shower, or find a vocal coach. The type or level of music you choose is less important than the joy and movement in making it. 

7. Stand

This may seem painfully obvious but bears repeating: Stand up. Set a timer that reminds you to get up and move around at least every hour if you have to sit down. Set up a standing desk to use as an alternative to prolonged sitting. Do gentle core strengthening exercises to increase your muscle strength for standing, and if you have trouble maintaining enough stamina to stand every hour, see your doctor. 

8. Take Breaks

There are many ways to break up your routine. Stroll to your balcony, sweep your porch, or rearrange some furniture. Putter around the house. Brush your cat. These types of things are mentally refreshing, spark creativity, and provide another way to (almost) effortlessly add more movement to your day. 

Starting an active lifestyle involves the accumulation of ongoing small habits. Give these suggestions a try to kickstart your progress toward healthy, sustainable movement patterns. 

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