After a long day of working and child-raising—writing an article here, wiping a runny nose there—the last thing I want to hear is that moms in my generation aren’t doing enough.
So I wasn’t too pleased to read about new research from the University of South Carolina showing that moms today are less physically active than moms in the 1960s.
The study found that moms today spend significantly less time on active tasks like cooking and cleaning and more time on sedentary activities like TV watching and Internet browsing.
Even though I, for one, am glad that the 60s are over, I don’t want my generation of moms to suffer the ill effects of an inactive lifestyle (heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.). At the same time, I know most moms are like me—if we have to add yet one more task to our to-do list, we just might snap!
The solution? Finding simple, little ways to be less sedentary throughout the day. Not a major life overhaul, just some simple tweaks to make us as healthy as our predecessors of the sixties.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
5 Little Ways to be More Active Throughout the Day
1. Take frequent sitting breaks.
If you work in front of a computer, try setting an alarm every hour as a reminder to get up from your desk chair and walk around for a few minutes. Similarly, when you’re watching TV, skip the commercials and use that time to stand up and stretch or finish a quick chore.
2. Unwind in motion.
After a long day, the lure of the couch is certainly tempting. But there are less sedentary ways to relax, like going for a leisurely walk or doing some light yoga. Try unwinding in motion for fifteen minutes before your butt hits the cushions.
3. Play with your kids.
There are certainly days I’m guilty of watching my child play more so than playing with him. But playing with your kids is one of the easiest ways to sneak in some extra physical activity, since you’re probably spending time with them anyway. Try a quick game of chase with your toddler, or kick a soccer ball around with your tween.
4. Do some chores.
I’m much more likely to do the dishes or straighten up my living room if I remember that I’m essentially killing two birds with one stone—making my house cleaner and my body healthier simultaneously.
5. Be inconvenienced.
Yes, it’s more convenient to park in the space closest to the store or to have your husband bring down the laundry since he’s going upstairs anyway. But those little inconveniences are also great opportunities to be less sedentary.
My generation of moms probably does spend more time glued to a chair than moms of generations past. The good news, however, is that being less sedentary doesn’t have to mean changing your whole lifestyle. Pick one or two of these easy ways to sneak in more physical activity, and see where it takes you!
Do you think moms today are more sedentary than moms of previous generations? How do you stay physically active throughout the day?
Author bio: Katie Markey McLaughlin is a freelance writer and blogger, plus a mom to a very energetic toddler. She’s also the author of the e-book Taking Action: 30 Specific Strategies for Overcoming Emotional Eating. Her blog Pick Any Two encourages moms to stop trying to have it all and instead prioritize what’s really most important in their lives.