Three-a-day exercisesSave this item
Many of us have busy, stressful routines, but finding ways to move more during our everyday lives can make a huge difference to our health and wellbeing.
There are lots of ways to move more in your everyday life, and you don’t even need to change your regular routine to do it. Every bit of movement that makes you breathe harder is good for you, so every little change you make will make a difference. It might feel hard at first, so start slow and build from there, and if you have a bad day, just try again tomorrow.
In order to help you start moving more in your everyday life, Everyday Active has created the “three-a-day” approach to becoming more active. If you can start moving more just three times a day, for a couple of minutes at a time, this can start to form the habit of a more active lifestyle. Just like your five-a-day of fruit of vegetables, this can be your three-a-day of moving more.
Have a go at building three-a-day into your everyday life. If you can do three-a-day, every day, then that will add up to a much more active week, and you will start to feel the benefit. Over time, you might be able to add a fourth or fifth burst of movement, until finding those moments to move more becomes a natural habit.
You three-a-day can fit right in around your everyday routine. Here are some exercises you could try:
Walk up & down the stairs
If you have young children you might be doing this already, but you don’t really need any excuse to climb your stairs other than it’s good exercise! Try and do a couple of journeys up and down just to get that heart rate up.
You don’t need to be Anthony Joshua to feel the great benefits of boxing – throwing a few air punches can really get the blood flowing and help clear your head. Remember to stay on your toes!
Lift a tin of beans
It doesn’t need to be beans – any tin of household goods will do, or really anything that fits conveniently in your hand. Start with your arms at your side with your palms facing forward, and gently lift the tin to your chest, keeping your upper arms as still as possible. Alternate arms and see how many you can do in two minutes.
Dance round the living room
Throw off your inhibitions, put on some good music and let loose with some energetic dance moves. You’re at home – nobody else is watching, so who cares whether you’d make the final of Strictly or not? This is a great activity to do with young kids – they will love your moves and it won’t be long before they get involved.
Stand & sit
Simply moving slowly and steadily from a sitting position to a standing position, and back again, helps build strength and balance. Try to repeat the motion several times to start to feel the benefit.
Something a bit more energetic for those who feel able – star jumps will really get your pulse racing and start working and strengthening those muscles.
Running on the spot
A classic. Running on the spot is as simple as it gets and can be done anywhere – try it while waiting for the kettle to boil, cooking the dinner or even get up and do it while watching TV.
Stretch on tiptoes
A gentle exercise that improves your leg strength and your balance. Take it easy and make sure you have something to hold onto if you lose your balance.
Just like running on the spot, high knee exercises can be done anywhere and have loads of benefits because they’ll improve your balance as well as making your breathing rate rise. Try to get those knees up as high as you can while maintaining a straight back.
Lift a baby
In the absence of fancy weights, which can also be expensive, anything you can lift will help you start to build strength and improve your balance. If you have a baby to hand, he or she can be the ideal home exercise partner, as not only will they enjoy being lifted up and down, they get heavier over time, making you stronger! Try lifting the baby from a number of positions, including lying flat on your back with your knees up. From a standing position, try lifting the baby above your head, or lift to chest height and try to swivel from side to side.
Can you think if any more great exercises you can do around the home? Remember they just need to take a couple of minutes at a time and fit into your daily routine. Why not show us your home exercises using the hashtag #everydayactive, and we’ll share the best ones.
When to do your three-a-day
Life can be non-stop, and it’s hard to find even a few minutes to dedicate to being more active, but you can do your three-a-day anywhere, anytime, while you’re doing anything. Here’s just a few suggestions for situations that you might be able to squeeze a bit more movement into:
- Making a cuppa
- During the ad breaks on TV
- Waiting at the school gates
- Cooking dinner
- Sitting at your desk
- Hanging or folding the laundry
- Washing up
- Brushing your teeth
- Checking social media on your phone
What other everyday activities can you fit more movement into? Let us know your three-a-day moments using the hashtag #EA3aday on social media.
Download our three-a-day guide
We have created a handy guide to three-a-day, which can be downloaded, printed out or sent to friends and family as a reminder to move more during our everyday lives. Click the link below to download the PDF and start sharing three-a-day with the ones you love.