While St. Charles County is the number one healthiest county in Missouri in terms of quality of life, still 12% of St. Charles County residents report having poor or fair health. Community Strong supports simple lifestyle changes to impact the well-being of St. Charles County citizens.
The average person spends about 12 hours a day sitting– and that’s way too much of a sedentary lifestyle for human beings. The risks can be very damaging to your body, including increased chances of weight gain, risk of disease, and even early death.
Being healthily active does not have to mean taking extra time to fit in visits to the gym. Here are 11 simple tips to integrate more physical movement into your daily life, thus building healthier habits:
1. Sit on the Floor
It may look strange, but sitting on the floor gives your body an opportunity to work on balance and strength. Without the back of a chair and seat, for your legs to hang down, your body gets a break from the constant pressure on your joints and allows them to reconfigure. Try reading, watching TV, or even working on the floor for awhile– just grab a pillow!
2. Stand Up Regularly
It’s easy to become accustomed to sitting for hours at once, particularly at a desk job. The rule of thumb is that you should stand up every 30 minutes to an hour. This will keep your muscles moving and your body feeling better.
3. Wake Up Early
Getting enough sleep every night is important, but it’s also equally important to not cut into your active daytime hours by staying in bed. Adults need six to eight hours of sleep, after that– get up! This works your body into a healthier cycle.
4. Walk Your Errands When Possible
St. Charles County is very spread out, so it can be difficult to run errands without a car. But when you have the time to spare, challenge yourself to run your errands on foot. Walking has both positive physical and mental benefits. But when walking is not possible, try to carpool– this is better for the environment and you can run errands with family or friends!
5. Take Hikes
Our County has many beautiful parks and hiking trails. Simply walking on natural earth is great for your body and it helps you reconnect with nature. Take off your shoes to make for a more challenging hike! Hiking is often more enjoyable with a friend or co-worker.
6. Take the Stairs When You Can
Skip the elevator or the escalator, take the stairs! It’s simply fantastic for your leg muscles and it’s a great way to fit some cardio. If your destination is just a few floors up, you should commit to the stairs.
7. Move While Watching TV
Many of us sit at desks all day, sit in our cars to commute home in traffic, and then sit in front of the TV at the end of the day. If you tweak this routine just a little, you can actually get a bit of exercise! Just walking in place or doing basic movements on an exercise ball while you watch TV will do your body so much good.
8. Walk While You Talk
Whether on the phone or chatting with a friend in person, you can talk away while in motion. Plus, while your mind is absorbed in good conversation, you won’t even think about your walk.
9. Drink More Water
There are numerous health benefits to drinking water. Plus, when you drink more water, you move more– to go to the bathroom! Challenge your friends to drink water together.
Stretching is proven to get your blood flowing and encourage healthy circulation. It’s a simple way to keep your spine healthy. And it takes very little effort to stretch– just a few simple movements. Your body will tell you when it’s happily stretched out.
11. Cook More Meals
We all live busy lives, and it can be easy to get into the habit of regularly eating out or ordering in. When you cook in your kitchen, you burn more calories than eating out because meal prep involves movement. Plus, you tend to eat fewer calories when you cook at home as opposed to eating out.
Building more movement into your day does not have to be hard. All it takes is a few tweaks to your daily habits and you will be moving to your body’s content!
Having a partner to keep you accountable with these movement habits will help you stay active. Many people do better with fitness habits when they’re with a friend or in a group.
Join Community Strong today and celebrate the choices you make to become community strong in St. Charles! Sign up to learn about our community events and resources.