It’s normal for all of us to get stuck in a routine, a slave to the daily grind. While there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable and going through the motions of the same daily activities, it’s always nice to mix things up. Whether it’s adjusting something you already do or adding something entirely new to your day, you might just end up getting out of that rut and feeling just a little bit more amazing! Here are four suggestions for what we like to call “activity swaps” or our version of “do this, not that,” to get you thinking in new ways and to help you recognize that even small changes can make a big difference.

 

Get On Your Feet: Did you know that on average, Americans sit for 8-15 hours per day? With only 16 waking hours each day, that’s a whole lot of sitting. [1] Experts have shown that this degree of inactivity can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. [2] Not to mention, sitting weakens our muscles and makes us a lot more prone to physical injury. Therefore, sitting is actually affecting us not just when we’re sitting, but when we’re active as well. [3]

 

By far the most common reason we sit for so long is the nature of most office jobs. In order to counteract the sitting epidemic and swap the sedentary lifestyle for a healthy and more active one, we highly recommend jumping on the standing desk bandwagon and finding a better solution for while you’re at work. Whether or not your boss is willing to foot the bill for a new desk, (you can always use the healthier employees are better employees argument), taking matters into your own hands and propping up your computer on a couple boxes will do the trick. Who knows, maybe you’ll start a trend and motivate your colleagues to do the same!

 

Sweat Outside: If exercise is already a part of your daily routine, then you’re already a step ahead. But do you ever find yourself dreading going to the gym under those harsh fluorescent lights or getting bored with your working out at home routine? We don’t blame you. Taking your workout outside can not only help keep you motivated, but studies have shown that you might get even more out of the same workout if it’s done outside. Not only that, but in comparison to doing the same workout indoors, individuals report significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem while tension, depression and fatigue rank lower when sweating outside. [4]

 

Walk into Inspiration: If you’re like most of us, conference calls and meetings can quickly lead to yawning, distraction and boredom. What might surprise you is that it might not be the content of the meeting or phone call that’s fatiguing, but rather, the way in which the meeting or call is conducted. Typical sit-down interactions don’t allow us to be as relaxed, inspired or motivated to accomplish all that we can. Studies show that those who walk during their conference calls or initiate a walking, in-person meeting are able to come up with more unique ideas and think more creatively and innovatively. This concept has caught on so significantly that LinkedIn, Facebook and even the White House have instituted it as a best practice! [5] Interested in making your meeting a little bit more amazing? Take it outside and see what happens!

 

Redefine Happy Hour: The workday is over, you’re exhausted and that bar down the street has amazing happy hour prices. We totally don’t blame you for that weekday after-work drinks habit. But, having said that, perhaps there is a better (and more amazing) way to unwind with your colleagues after a grueling workday? After sitting behind a desk all day, what our bodies really need after that 9-5 is a little bit of activity and a change of scenery. Organizing a game of ultimate Frisbee or capture the flag could be a fantastic way to sneak in a workout and have a ton of fun with your colleagues. Not only will you laugh and release those happy endorphins, but you won’t have to regret those drinks the next morning!

 

[1] “The Facts: Sit-Stand Basics”. JustStand.Org. Web. 12 April 2016.

[2] “Stand ad Deliver: The Benefits of Standing at Your Desk”. Reader’s Digest. Web. 12 April 2016.

[3] Sisson, Mark. “How-to Guide”. Mark’s Daily Apple. 21 March 2010. Web. 12 April 2016.

[4] Reynolds, Gretchen. “The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors. The New York Times. 21 February 2013. Web. 12 April 2016.

[5] Peck, Emily. “Why Walking Meetings Can Be Better Than Sitting Meetings”. The Huffington Post. 9 February 2015. Web. 12 April 2016.