Get Moving: Incorporating Physical Activity to Your Daily Routine
Monday, 13 November 2017
Mohammed Azhar Bin Yusof, Senior Lecturer, Physical Education & Sports Science Academic Group, National Institute of Education
“Oh … I am so busy I don’t have the time to exercise.”
“I want to spend the free time I have with my family.”
Sounds familiar? Well if it does then you are not alone. In the Sports Participation Survey (2014) conducted by SportSG, most respondents cited those two reasons for not exercising regularly. Many people think it is hard to overcome the “inertia” of a physically inactive lifestyle and start exercising regularly. Well it is … but only if you see it as having to change into sports attire, go to a sports facility, and exercise for 20 to 30 minutes. Kick starting your way to a more active and healthy lifestyle does not need to be so. The Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends engaging in physical activities that add up to at least 150 minutes a week. These activities include walking to the bus stop, taking the stairs, washing the dishes, and hanging up the clothes. The time it takes to do these tasks add up and contributes towards a more active and healthy lifestyle.
There are more ways to integrate physical activity into your busy lifestyle. For instance, if you work a typical 8-hour work day, insert 5 minutes of physical activity every hour. So if you start work at 9.00am, get up from your chair at 9:55am and walk to the toilet a few floors down, then return to your desk. You would have also given your eyes a break from your computer screen. In the next hour, walk a few floors down and up, head to the pantry, and get yourself a drink. The next 5 minutes of physical activity could involve doing some incline push-ups at your desk or half squats next to your office chair. So in that 8-hour work day you would have clocked an accumulated 40 minutes worth of physical activity. When heading back home go down one bus stop before your usual stop and walk a little more. If you stay at the 10th floor, take the lift to the 5th floor and take the stairs for the remaining 5 floors. You would have now clocked a lot more minutes and quite possibly hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day.
The weekend is the perfect opportunity to bond with the family through physical activity. Go to the beach where you can take a walk together or swim, rent bikes and cycle together. Go to a park the following weekend for a picnic. Bring the family dog if you have one and play a game of catch. When you make these physical activities a family affair, it will definitely cultivate a more active and healthy lifestyle for yourself and your entire family.
Over time, you will realise that even with a busy work schedule, living a more active and healthy lifestyle is not that difficult after all.
Now that you have read this … what are you waiting for? Get off your seat and take that 5 minute walk!
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Azhar Yusof is married with 2 children aged 7 and 11. Even though he exercises regularly, he avoids taking the lift here at NIE and at home. On the weekend, his family would sometimes cycle from their Hougang home to Punggol Waterfront for meals or head to East Coast beach (their favourite hangout), Sentosa, or Gardens by the Bay with their skate scooters and skate around before having dinner.