Here are some tips to stay active without exercising.
Take the stairs
If you live or work in a high-rise building, choose to use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have to get to a very high floor and you are not willing to do that kind of a feat, walk up at least a few floors and then take the elevator.
Park far away
When you drive out, park as far away from your destination as possible to add a couple of short walks to your day for some movement that your body will appreciate.
In the book Get up! from researcher James A. Levine, we talk about a study that finds that people burn more calories while standing than sitting, in addition to other health benefits. The scientist proposes the use of standing desks to stay active. Working in that position means that you have to do micromoves and adjustments in your balance and position to stay comfortable, and that translates into activity.
We are adapting this tip to work, but obviously, watching TV, reading and doing any standing activity has that effect.
Walk to places
Think about whether it is really necessary to use the car to get to a place. Mexico City is chaotic and it is understood that many places are not within walking distance, but it is also true that many times we use the car to go to places that we could reach with a twenty minute walk. Take advantage of those opportunities.
Use the bike
Similar to the previous point, change the car for the bike whenever you can. Not only is it a super efficient means of transport – according to the book Walkable city by Jeff Speck, you spend the same energy as walking and go three times as far – but it does not require fuel and allows you to experience the city from another perspective. Just make sure that your bike is in good condition, that you have the necessary safety equipment and that you follow the protocols required for a safe ride.
Don’t get carried away by convenience
This tip sums up all the previous ones. We live in a culture that favors convenience and minimal effort. To stay active, you should keep in mind that, although it has its advantages, going for the convenient option (car, chairs, elevators) is not always the healthiest. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone in favor of movement.