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Breaking Up Sedentary Habits: Tips for Increasing Movement


I’m sure that you have heard this before, but every step you take makes a big difference in the grand scheme of things. COVID-19 limitations may be less restrictive now, but you might find that it is still difficult to break up sedentary habits throughout the day. Let’s talk about ways to make movement more fun and convenient.

Create Nudges

While I do strongly encourage rest days and listening to what your body needs, sometimes we need that little push to get started when it comes to activity. A great way to encourage yourself to move your body is to incorporate “nudges”. For example, maybe you are someone who can’t seem to get away from the snooze button. Try setting your phone/alarm across the room in the evening so that when it goes off in the morning, you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. Sometimes getting out of bed is the hardest part, but if you have to get up to turn your alarm off, you are already one step ahead. Other nudges include setting your workout clothes out the night before so you don’t have to dig through drawers, preparing a water ahead of time to start hydrating before your workout, or even playing music when you wake up for added motivation.

Find a Class

Workout classes can be a really fun way to move your body and add activity in. Search online or at local fitness studios for classes that are interesting to you. It could be something you’ve tried before and loved or something you have never tried but are curious about. When we have something scheduled, we are much more likely to actually attend. Working out with a group of people can be a great way to stay social and find encouragement too. You can even try taking a friend to a class with you if that will help you feel more comfortable starting out.

Keep it Virtual

Maybe going to an in-person class is not an option for you. Another great choice is to try virtual courses. You can find hundreds of different online programs or even free workout videos online. With a little bit of research, you can find something that fits exactly what you’re looking for, whether that is something with minimal equipment, high intensity, yoga based, or strength based.

Write it Down

Similarly to what I mentioned earlier, if we have something scheduled for ourselves, we are much more likely to do it. Many of us use planners, virtual calendars, or to-do lists to keep our priorities straight, but most of the time we forget to include our own self-care on those lists. You wouldn’t skip an appointment with your boss, especially if it is scheduled, so don’t skip appointments with yourself either. Now is the time to make you and your health a priority too.

5-Minute Movement

Adding in movement/activity to your day does not mean it has to be all at once. You might not have time for a class or movement that extends longer than 10 minutes, and that is okay. However, we know that every step counts, so I would still encourage you to find some way to add steps in. I often suggest breaking up every hour of sitting down with 5 minutes of movement. Those 5 minutes could look like walking around your home, folding laundry, cleaning the dishes, stretching, or even a quick walk with your dog. It does not have to be intense, all that matters is that we add in those small forms of movement, which again, add up and can really improve our overall health and wellness.

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