Are you the type who makes New Year’s resolutions every year? I definitely am.
This year, I have committed myself to getting fitter and better. That was one of my top 5 goals to achieve, I wrote at the beginning of the year.
Now that I realize, I have become more active and energetic, even though I couldn’t hit the gym regularly as I wanted. The reason? Apart from exercising, I have been doing more physical activities than ever before. That burns the extra calories.
In fact, there is a research which states that regular non-exercise activities can account for 50% of the daily energy expenditure. In short, I can simply burn a lot of calories by being active throughout the day.
Since my work as a software developer involves me sitting a lot throughout the day, I made sure that I incorporated subtle atomic habits into my life to make myself work.
Here are some ways I’ve been using to make myself active:
- Standing up, taking multiple breaks while working on my desk. Last year, I started having back problems, which compelled me to buy an expensive gaming cushion-y chair that has incredible back support. Although, it gave me some relief, the issue persisted. On doctor’s advice, I started taking my meeting while standing up. I also, would try to take breaks for 5 minutes every 45 minutes. I would simply go for a walk.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. My office is situated on the 5th floor of a building. I would make sure that I always take the stairs, provided that I am never late for the office. Even while going to the cafeteria, I would always prefer the stairs. In fact, my gym is on the 10th floor of a building, and I would take the stairs to get warmed up.
- Running errands on foot. This has helped me a lot. I was the kind of guy who would go to the market that is just 2 minutes away in my vehicle. This habit has changed for the better. Now, I walk for every small task that is in the range of 1 km.
- Walking while talking on the phone. Believe it or not, I have been doing this for the last 5 years. I would even strongly suggest you do the same. Having conversations on the phone while you are walking, which can last from less than a minute to a few hours, can burn your calories immensely.
- Working on daily chores. When you stay out of your home and work in a different city, you are compelled to do your own chores. Right from cleaning to cooking to even washing, I do it all. While I am in my parents’ home, I don’t have to do anything, but I definitely help my mom (even though she doesn’t allow me to). Some habits include making my bed after getting up from bed and cleaning my desk and my laptop before work.
- Writing or learning before bedtime. The earlier version of me would indulge in binge-watching Netflix shows, one after the other. Now, I have been either reading a book, writing blogs or journals, or learning something from a book. This gives me peace of mind that I am doing something productive. I certainly make sure to keep my devices away, as they can be very distracting.
- Developing a sleep routine. I have tried getting up early in the morning, but I failed miserably. I have always been a night owl, since I get my ideas at night. For that reason, I have been taking the non-habit-forming melatonin gummies for some time, and it has helped me to get some quality sleep for weeks. And this way, I have found my sleep routine from 1am to 8–8.30am, where I wake up feeling fully rested and recharged.
In the past few weeks, I have learned a lot about myself. The daily rituals made me more aware of my body and its strength. I have never been this active in my life. I have never been this consistent in my fitness journey in my life.
There’s a long way to go, and I am still a work in progress.