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The idea behind habit stacking is simple: train your brain to adopt a new healthy habit by “stacking it” on top of an existing one. It is a fantastic and very simple way to build more physical activity into your life.
The process involves grouping together small activities and linking them to a habit already set in your day, like boiling the kettle or brushing your teeth. This makes the routine memorable and anchors your new habits to an existing trigger.. By stacking enough of these habits, you’ll build a surprising amount of extra physical activity into your day routine without even realising it.
While you are waiting for the kettle to boil or your tea to brew, put that time to good use every morning with some running on the spot, high knee jog or star jumps. A brief aerobic workout — whether it’s walking, jogging, or running — can improve your lung capacity and circulation.
It takes a few minutes for the shower to warm up, but in that short amount of time, before stepping into the shower, you can be adding strength to your calves. Calf raises improve stability and help protect you from injuries like sprains or a twisted ankle. A calf raise is easy to do and requires little room, just stand up straight and push through the balls of your feet until you are standing on your toes; if you feel like you’re off-balance, try putting your hands on the wall to stabilise yourself. Then slowly lower your feet back to the starting position.
Porridge is just one example of a healthy breakfast that requires a little bit of time to prepare. So put that time to good use! While you’re waiting the microwave to ping (or bread to toast), try doing some worktop push-ups to strengthen your upper body. Face the worktop, place hands on the edge, around shoulder-width apart. Step your feet backward and lift your heels up so your body is in a plank position. Slowly lower your chest toward the counter, keeping your forearms parallel to each other; press your body back to the starting position and repeat.
Watching television can be relaxing in itself, but adding a sun salutation into the mix will relieve both your body and mind. Serving as the backbone of many yoga traditions, the sun salutation is a simple yet powerful sequence of movements that stretches every part of the body. Here’s how to do it
Many of us use a laptop for work and recreation, but time spent sitting at your computer can also be used as a chance to stretch out your chests and shoulders. Lock your fingers behind your head and push your elbows backwards while squeezing with your upper back until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 seconds and repeat.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time — that’s four minutes of just staring at the mirror! Put that time to good use and walk around the house as you brush. It may not seem like a lot, but a couple minutes of walking can help with your balance, flexibility, and range of motion. For an added burn, turn your mini walks into hikes by going up and down the stairs.
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