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Every step counts: tips on how to build more exercise into your life

It doesn't matter what you decide to do. Whether it's swimming, dancing, yoga or jogging, any kind of activity will help you stay physically and mentally fit. The fact that we tend to spend so many hours each day sitting – at work, in the car, or in front of the TV – means that our bodies often don't get the exercise they need. The tips below will help you build some exercise into your day-to-day routine.

Everybody knows that regular exercise is beneficial and helps prevent many chronic illnesses. According to the Federal Office of Sport, all it takes is 30 minutes each day to avoid long-term health problems. These simple tips will make it easy for you to take regular exercise.
  • Getting to work: Leave your car at home and use public transport instead. Get off one stop before your destination and walk the remaining distance. If you work close to home, cycle to work.
  • At the office: Organise your workspace in such a way that you have to get up and walk a few steps whenever you want to print or copy documents or perform similar tasks. You can also boost your concentration and alertness by taking regular short breaks to stretch and limber up. You could stand up, for example, whenever you use the phone in order to relieve tension in particular muscle groups.
  • Stairs: Take the stairs instead of the lift, regardless of which floor you work on. If you have to take the lift for whatever reason, at least use the steps when you're coming back down.
  • During lunch: When you've finished your lunch, go for a quick stroll round the block.
  • At the end of working day: Take your gym clothes with you to work. This will make it easier for you to go to the gym straight afterwards. After all, once you've arrived back home and stretched yourself out on the sofa, the chances that you'll decide to get up and take some exercise are slim.
  • Shopping: Instead of parking directly outside the shop, look for a parking space some distance away and walk from there.
  • Motivation: Why not work out with a friend? Exercising with a buddy is a lot more fun than working out alone and will help both of you to stay motivated.
  • Lack of time: Plan exercise into your schedule and consciously enjoy the time that you spend doing it.
  • Weekends: Spend as much time as you can outdoors. Use your free time to go walking, cycling or hiking.