How to live longer: Get your steps in – alternative ways now the weather is wetter
Dr Michael Mosley on the benefits of exercise
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Alongside a change in the weather, working from home has made getting your steps in a challenge. Everything from lunch to the bathroom to your office is likely 10 steps away. So unless you go for a walk or run, the chances of reaching your recommended step count are slim.
David Wiener, Training Specialist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, has recommended some alternatives to get moving.
1. Take the stairs
Walking up and down the stairs is an efficient way to up your step count during the day, said David.
He continued: “Although working from home may diminish the number of stairs you encounter, spending 10-20 minutes marching up and down the stairs or taking short breaks to climb up and down can drastically increase your step count.
“The stairs are also an excellent way to get your heart rate up, burning around 8 – 11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other moderate level physical activities.”
2. Work on the go
Working from home has given us the luxury of being able to create our own routines and work to our own schedules.
David advised: “Any Zoom meetings or phone calls during the working day where you don’t need to be at your laptop or on video, take the call whilst moving around your house or doing laps around the garden.
“Walking, even at a slow speed is a good way to burn calories and fat, with a one-hour walk (approx. three miles) burning around 210 and 360 calories and equating to around six to seven thousand steps depending on the length of your stride.”
3. High step workouts
There are a number of workouts which can increase your step count.
“When choosing a workout, try and find one that combines bodyweight and cardio,” said David.
“Exercises like burpees and lunges (or even better, lunge walks) are a great go-to. Fitness app Freeletics offers a wide range of workouts which can be personalised to your goals and fitness level.
“With full-body workouts starting from just 15 minutes, there’s no excuse not to fit exercise into your day. And even if you don’t meet the goal of 10,000 steps a day, you’ll still get fitter, stronger and healthier.”
Skipping is not only one of the most effective cardio workouts, but it can also be a way to increase your step count.
David advised: “It can be done in a small space, and it can be a higher calorie burner than running.
“Research has shown that skipping requires 24 percent more power than running at the same speed, so by embarking on a quick, 10-minute skipping workout is guaranteed to get you sweating and your heart rate and step count up.
“Investing in a high-quality skipping rope can be helpful and make your skipping workouts more efficient.
“I recommend the Freeletics anti-slip and adjustable skipping rope, which allows you to execute a range of different skipping exercises simply and effectively.”
5. Take extra trips
Having everything localised to your home, it is easy to get into a lazy mindset.
To combat this, take extra trips, said David.
“For example, when taking your laundry upstairs or bringing your shopping in from the car, instead of trying to take everything in one go, try taking a couple more trips than may be necessary to get some extra steps in.”
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