Incidental Exercise – What is it and how does it help us?

We can make a considerable difference to our health, fitness and weight just by incorporating more movement into our day. Not only does regular motion keep the body more supple and the mind clearer, every movement uses energy. Becoming more sedentary as we get older means we lose this valuable and beneficial effect on the body and mind.


So how do we include more incidental exercise?


  1. Walk more

Leave the car when possible and walk to the local shop for the milk and bread. Hop off the bus early and walk those last couple of blocks. (This can also create a lovely nugget of time to de-stress between work and home). If you’re catching up with a friend, suggest a walk and talk before the coffee stop. Get a dog and be the dog walker (take the children and create a space to connect with them, free from devices).


  1. Spend more time on your feet

Standing engages numerous muscles for the body just to stay erect. By taking the option to stand we are also one step closer to greater movement. Stand up when you’re on the phone (even better – pace the room). If possible use a stand-up desk and have stand-up meetings at work – not only will you be on your feet, you’ll find these meetings to be shorter and a better use of everyone’s time. On the train or bus? Stand tall and take the opportunity for a few secret core and glute squeezes.


  1. Get a pedometer

To really gauge how much you’re moving get a pedometer.  You should be aiming for 8000-10,000 steps per day. This is probably more than you think you’re doing so it’s good to set a benchmark.

By incorporating more generally movement into your day not only will you feel physically better, the de-stressing effects of exercise will create a clearer, calmer mind.