Engaging in simple daily exercises at home is one way to increase physical activity

We may know that sitting too much and not moving enough (aka being too nua) increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other serious diseases. We may also know that moving more will cut our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But knowing these facts doesn’t motivate us to get off our comfy sofas to hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day and 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

As the saying (almost) goes, a journey of 10,000 steps begins with one step. Let’s take that first step with these easy ways to sneak physical activity or a workout routine into everyday life.

Related: How to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day The Easy Way

Observe Your Activity Levels

Be aware of your activity levels.

Before we put on our sports shoes, let’s grab a journal and jot down our level of physical activity over the next few days. The idea is to gain awareness of how much we move.

For example, at work, how many hours do you spend seated at your desk? Do you eat in or head out for lunch?

When you travel to and from work, how far do you walk to the bus stop or MRT station? Do you climb the stairs or take the lift?

Over the weekend, do you spend time with your family at the nearby shopping centre? Or perhaps you hardly leave the house, preferring to lepak at home.

After noting these down, you should be more aware of how active you are. Now let’s pinpoint areas where you can sneak in more physical activity!

Related: How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Engage in Physical Activity in Small Spaces

There are creative ways to increase physical activity in small spaces.

One simple tweak for office warriors is to get a standing desk. Sitting too much increases risk for type 2 diabetes, and standing helps combat that — plus, you burn twice the calories!

Not a fan of standing while working? Take frequent breaks: for every hour of sitting, get up and walk for 5 minutes. Grab a kopi-o kosong or go to the loo.

And if you often eat at your desk, one way to increase your steps is to go out for lunch. Grab your colleagues and head to the nasi padang place you’ve been too lazy to visit.

Aim For 10,000 Steps

Increase your activity levels by walking more or taking the stairs.

You can also add steps and increase your physical activity by changing your public transport routine. Alight a stop before your destination and brisk walk the rest of the way. Fast-paced walking can help reduce stress — a good way to end the workday.

At your destination, take the stairs instead of the lift. And double the calories burned by running up those stairs instead of walking.

Related: How to Stay Motivated and Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Home Workouts

Engage in simple daily exercises at home to get the most out of your day.

Leisure time doesn’t mean you have to be lazy. Do some light stretching while watching Channel 5 dramas. If that’s too easy, try doing some jumping jacks during commercial breaks.

Related: Exercise at Home: Burn Calories While Watching TV!

Activities to Improve Physical Health

Learning how to increase physical activity starts with incorporating small changes in your routine.

Take family-time a step further: hit the malls and increase your step count with Singapore’s favourite pastime, shopping. (Hint: window shop to protect your wallet!)

Prefer the outdoors? Head to one of Singapore’s many parks for a walk or cycle, and enjoy the fresh air, lush greenery, and wildlife.

Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime, and practise caution when exercising. Remember, safety first!

For more information on how to prevent diabetes, visit our Diabetes Hub.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

Preventing Diabetes: Move More