Easy ways to move more

Posted on April 19, 2021

Easy ways to move more

There are lots of easy ways to top up your total daily exercise around the house, at work or out and about. The NHS recommends that adults should “do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week”1. Introducing more movement into your daily routine can help you reach this target and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.


At home

  • Try a home exercise routine when you can’t get to the gym. The NHS Fitness Studio features 24 instructor-led exercise videos that you can enjoy at home, covering everything from aerobics, strength and resistance to pilates and yoga.
  • Get out into the garden for an extra workout. Digging, shovelling, carrying and squatting while gardening can all increase your heart rate and top up your daily activity levels.
  • Encourage children to enjoy active play rather than TV time. It’s recommended that children have 60 minutes of activity a day and there are lots of fun ways to reach this target, from playing chase to dancing around.
  • House Chores do all add up too, vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn are all using muscles and can even give us sweat, helping to burn calories. 


In 30 minutes a person who weighs 150 pounds (approximately 68kg) can burn the following number of calories2


  • Gardening or weeding = 153 calories
  • Vacuuming = 119 calories
  • Cleaning the house = 102 calories
  • Playing with the kids (moderate activity level) = 136 calories
  • Mowing the lawn = 205 calories
  • Sitting and watching TV = 40 calories


Out and about


  • Walk instead of taking the car where possible. If travelling by public transport, consider walking some of the way to get in some extra activity during your journey. 
  • For a low impact activity that’s gentle on the joints, try swimming. Swimming helps build strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness and is suitable for those recovering from injury or suffering from arthritis. 
  • Take the stairs. Instead of taking the lift or escalator, make every step count by sticking to the stairs. This small change in habit can help you reach your healthy goals for the day.

In 30 minutes a person who weighs 150 pounds (approximately 68kg) can burn the following number of calories2:

  • Strolling = 103 calories
  • Biking to work (on a flat surface) = 220 calories


At work

  • Switch sitting for standing while on the phone or catching up with colleagues. Standing burns more calories and can help you avoid long periods of inactivity while sitting at your desk.
  • Enjoy a lunchtime stroll. Swap staying at your desk for a walk during your lunch break to increase your step count, burn calories and make your heart healthier. It’s important to walk briskly, which is defined as around 3 miles an hour. You are walking briskly if you can still talk but can’t sing the words to a song. 
  • Move around the office. Instead of emailing a colleague with a query or question, take a walk to their desk. The more time spent standing and moving the better, so get into the habit of leaving your chair more often to stretch your legs and stay healthy at work.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is just as important as being active. Try to get enough fibre in the diet, about 30g a day from wholegrains, wholemeal varieties like brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal bread and plenty of fruit and vegetables. The fibre is also obtained from the skin of potatoes and eating the fruit and vegetables as whole foods rather than juicing them. Include some milk and dairy foods that are low in fat. Foods that contain more than 17.5g of fat per 100g are considered high in fat. Calcium fortified dairy alternative milks can also be consumed. 

A range of coloured fruit and vegetables should form the bulk of your dietary intake, aiming for 2 portions of fruit and 3 portions of vegetables a day. Good sources of protein are essential for the growth and repair of tissues. Try to choose lean cuts of meat and reduce consumption of red and processed meat. Eggs and oily fish are also good sources of protein, that provides a range of nutrients. Oily fish in particular is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and 2 portions of fish should be consumed a week, of which one portion being oily fish. If you are a vegan, good protein sources include beans, peas, lentils, tofu and nuts. Reduce consumption of saturated fat (butter, coconut oil, cakes, cheese), sugar and salty foods for a healthy heart and weight. 

Hydrating yourself with plain water is essential to replenish lost fluids from the body and help flush out toxins. According to the eatwell guide 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is recommended. 

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1 . NHS UK. (2019). Exercise. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/. Last accessed 15th April 2021.
2. McCoy, K and Jones, N. . (2009). Burning Calories With Everyday Activities. Available: https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/everyday-activities-that-burn-calories.aspx#:~:text=%22NEAT%22%20activities%20include%20things%20like,by%20increasing%20your%20metabolic%20rate.Last accessed 15th April 2021.