What have you done in the past day? Did you spend the majority of your time sitting or standing? Unfortunately, many of us spend much of our days sitting due to work or being at home. The human body was built to run, hunt, and fight. Sitting down – not so much! But don’t worry, the College of Health and Fitness has a solution to this for you – incidental exercise.
What Is Incidental Exercise?
Incidental exercise refers to smaller movements that you perform throughout the day, which build up to a lot of exercise when all added together. Choosing to move when you don’t have to, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can help with your overall health as these small choices add up over time.
Usually, when we think of exercise, we think of a planned exercise routine such as weightlifting or HIIT. Incidental exercise both happens naturally, like getting up from the desk to make a cup of coffee but can also be planned. With a little extra planning, there are many ways that you can increase your incidental exercise.
Why Is Incidental Exercise Important?
34.6% of adults in Australia have lifestyles that are classed as sedentary, so many of us simply aren’t getting enough exercise each day.
Participating in physical activities has been known to reduce depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. However, it’s not only about exercising but about how much you exercise.
One Australian study showed that those who move and stand more across a week had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Those who took more steps also had a lower BMI and waist circumference. This is the perfect example of how critical regular movement is to our health.
While you should spend at least 150 minutes each week performing moderate levels of exercise, that’s not enough. Research shows that if you are still sedentary the rest of the time, you still face a higher risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
That’s why incidental exercise is crucial to your lifestyle; you need to both exercise intentionally and also incidentally. Here’s how…
Incidental Exercise Ideas
- Walk or bike when you can
Whenever you can get somewhere by walking or biking, do it! Even biking to work and back for 10 minutes each way adds up to 100 minutes biking across your working week. This can make all the difference to your health and level of activity.
- Take breaks
Take breaks away from your desk as often as you can, such as every half hour or every hour. Get up and walk around the office or the block. It won’t hurt your productivity as the human brain was not designed to focus for hours at a time. You can come back to your desk refreshed and ready to focus again.
- Park further away or get off the bus earlier
By parking further away from your workplace, you are forcing yourself to walk perhaps for an extra 5 minutes. Across the week this is 50 minutes of walking! The same goes if you take the bus, just get off at the previous stop to your usual one and walk the rest of the way.
Chores are a fantastic form of incidental exercise. You have to do them anyway so why not use them to get your exercise in? Household tasks such as vacuuming or mowing the lawns are a wonderful form of incidental activity.
- Meeting with friends
When you’re meeting up with friends, consider whether there’s a way for you to do something more active than sit down to have a coffee or a meal together. For example, grab your takeaway coffee in a reusable cup and go for a walk together, or perhaps meet up with friends for a round of golf. Even walking around the mall rather than sitting down keeps you moving rather than sedentary.
Learn More About Exercise at the College of Health and Fitness
Are you intrigued about exercise and all the ways that we can become healthier? Perhaps you’d enjoy a career in fitness! You can get started on this dream of yours by taking Certificate III in Fitness.
Through this course, you will learn how to get more active and fit and help others to do the same. Whether it’s through incidental exercise or planned sessions, you can help others become healthier and potentially live longer. You will also learn about:
- Instructing clients on good form
- Providing health screening sessions
- Instructing fitness programs
- Working in a fitness or sport environment
- Workplace health and safety
- Healthy eating information
Why Study at the College of Health and Fitness?
The fantastic thing about taking Certificate 3 with the College of Health and Fitness is that you can choose whether you’d like to study online or in the classroom. This course can be fully flexible to fit around your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re currently in a sedentary job and can’t afford to quit to study – no worries, you can study online in the evenings while continuing to work at your job until you are qualified!
This study is not just theoretical but hands-on as well, so you are learning real skills about fitness that you can put into practice. You’ll also be able to undertake work placements in fitness facilities and gyms.
So, what are you waiting for? Apply to start Certificate III today and get your new healthy life underway now. Even better, you will be able to help others stop their sedentary lifestyle and get active!