5 Leisure Activities that You Can Make More Active
What are some of the things that you do to unwind at the end of the day? For many of us, leisure activities like reading or watching a favourite Netflix show spring to mind. You’ve been at the office all day, your brain is feeling tired and you just want to do something relatively mindless to relax. We get it!
The problem here is not with the activities themselves (I mean, who doesn’t like a little time to catch up on a new season of your favourite show?), but there is a problem with the sedentary behaviour that they promote. If you’ve been sitting all day at your desk at work only to come home and sit some more in the evening, those sedentary hours can add up quickly and make a big difference in your overall health.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks on how to make some of these leisure activities more movement-friendly. This way, when you’re feeling like you need some downtime with one of these pastimes, you can do so guilt-free.
If you’re trying to keep up with a new season of a favourite show and like watching it air on TV, this one is for you. Instead of simply sitting on the couch for the full hour, take advantage of those commercial breaks and make them active! Every time a commercial comes on, get up off of that couch and engage in some kind of brief exercise that gets you moving. This could be a certain number of jumping jacks, burpees or sit-ups, or it could be doing a quick lap around the first floor of your house. It could even be trying to do a wall sit for the duration of the break! This way, you get a much-needed active break every 10 or so minutes without missing any of action on your show.
Watching a Movie or Using a Streaming Service
Okay, so active commercial breaks are great and all, but what can you do when you’re watching a movie or using a streaming service and there are no commercials? After all, most of us nowadays use Netflix, Crave or something of the like when we’re really looking for something to watch. In circumstances like these, there are a few options you could try out.
First, you could set an alarm every 10 to 15 minutes to pause what you’re watching and engage in an active break as stated above. You could also commit to an active break between every show if you’re binge-watching one of those easy 20-minute-ers. That said, finding the motivation to actually break in the middle of a show is easily said than done when you’re the one holding the remote.
If you don’t think you have the discipline to follow through with that, another great option is to use a treadmill desk to keep you steadily active for the entirety of your movie or show. Products like the WalkTop Treadmill Desk, SpaceWalker or Sole Treadmill Desk all allow you to place your laptop directly on the desktop while walking at a slow, easy pace. Walking and watching has never been so easy!
Surfing the Web
Sometimes at the end of a long work day, it’s just fun to be able to surf the web and visit your favourite sites, whether that means online shopping, catching up on social media or reading up on some of your interests. Active seating solutions are an excellent way to be able to enjoy all of these pastimes while still incorporating important micro-movements. For example, the Varier MOVE Stool is NEAT Certified, which means it encourages movements and actually helps you burn more calories than if you were sitting in a regular chair. Other options like the Kore Wobble Stools or the Focal Mobis are also specially designed to just give you that little bit more flexibility. If you’re going to sit, why not sit actively?
I don’t know about you, but I love coming home and diving in to a really good book. That said, incorporating movement into reading can be tricky, because your hands are obviously occupied, and you need to remain relatively steady in order to read comfortably. One way to combat this issue is to take a similar approach as described above, in that at the end of every chapter you put your book down and engage in an active break. If (again) you don’t think you have the discipline to follow through with this, the Desk Pedals are a great option to integrate movement directly into the activity! These can be paired with almost any seating area, and all you have to do is pedal your feet. In other words, your legs are getting the movement they need while your hands and mind can focus on your book.
Playing Video Games
For all the gamers out there, we’ve got a solution for you too! The Deskcise Pro V9 pedal desk is the perfect way to add movement into your video gaming sessions. The desk allows you to rest your hands and elbows comfortably while holding whatever controller you need for the game. Meanwhile, the lower half of the desk is just like an exercise bike, so you can be pedalling and getting in some cardio while you make your way to the next level.
Next time you sit down to enjoy one of these activities, think of these tips and try to make it more active! Remember, a lot of these methods can be applied to the workplace as well. When you’re stuck at a desk all day, set an alarm to take purposeful movement breaks. Be mindful of the chair that you’re sitting in, and maybe choose something that offers a little bit more flexibility. Or you can always trade in your traditional desk model for something more movement-friendly like a treadmill desk or pedal desk. Whatever you decide, remember to integrate movement into every single day!