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Ask the Doc: 3 Ways to Get More Daily Exercise

Introducing a series of posts written by a real doctor who’s here to answer your questions about fitness, health, and everything in between.

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With the modern means of transportation, communication, and work we find ourselves less and less active compared to our ancestors. They would walk, ride a horse, work all day on the farm or in a factory performing manual labor. Today’s cars, TVs, iPhones, computers, even Facebook all work together to nudge us towards an unhealthy level of inactivity.

People that sit for more than 23 hours a week, which is just about anyone with a desk job, have higher chances of getting heart disease. Besides scheduling in some time at the gym, here are three ways you can add exercise to your regular day:

  1. Park farther away. When you park your car at work, the mall, and at the grocery store, park far away from the entrance. You’ll not only get some shopping done, but you’ll get some extra walking distance. It was observed that factory workers who parked their cars far from the entrance of the building worked better and felt healthier.
  2. Lift weights during the commercials. Leave some weights next to your couch or easy chair. While you watch your favorite shows, use the commercial break to do some curls or leg lifts.
  3. Take the stairs. Instead of using the elevator to go up one floor, use the stairs. For every ten steps up, you burn approx. 10 calories. Going down 10 steps sheds 5 calories. Let’s say each day you burn an extra 30 calories taking the stairs. In one week you’ll burn 210 calories, and 10,680 in one year. That means you can burn 3 pounds of fat (~3,500 Calories) each year by just taking the stairs. Not only will you feel better and contribute to your weight loss, but next time you feel like eating a donut you might think twice about how many steps it will take to burn it off.

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