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By Activity level
Minimally active

You may be minimally active because of an injury or health conditions, or because you don’t feel fit or just by habit. If you have physical limitations or major health conditions, you may need to seek professional advice to adapt activities to your needs and comfort.


Unless you are unable or advised against increasing activity, take a small or big step up from your energy conserving mode.  

If you are sitting a lot and not moving much, adding little movements throughout the day can improve your health and fitness level gradually. Importantly, starting small movements could be the first step in transitioning to a more active lifestyle. You can increase your activity level towards meeting the physical activity recommendations, some of which can be done during short breaks or even while doing your everyday tasks. Start with baby steps, even as little as 1-3 minutes, and work your way up. Once you get moving, you will likely find that it is actually hard to stop!


Click on this link to see how you can start with light activity and gradually increase intensity to levels consistent with exercise.

See this short video of a very low key but effective 3 minute activity. Follow this example alone or motivate your co-workers to stay active throughout the day. This light activity repeated half-hourly during the 8 hour workday was shown to reduce blood glucose and triglycerides among diabetics in a randomized clinical trial led by Dr. Dempsey! Moving even more actively throughout the day and using more muscles may likely help even more. Overcome those barriers and have fun moving.

When you need to sit for long, at work, in class, at restaurants, as a passenger, or in other settings, sitting can be made more active by adding small movements. You can also help change the norms.

Remember to keep a good posture

  • The benefits of good posture - Murat Dalkilinç Leg exercises: Say hello to toned legs! 

  • Lift legs up and down while keeping knees unbent

  • Make small circles with ankles, feet, and legs

  • Make stepping motion with your legs

  • Stretch your legs

  • Check out this link by the American Diabetes Association for exercises that can be done while sitting

Arm exercises: These are great for those who have trouble walking, standing or are in a wheelchair. They can also be combined with leg exercises for those who can for a more calorie burning routine.

  • Wave your hands around

  • Make small circles with hands, wrists, and arms

  • Stretch your hands, wrists, and arms

Other: Be creative, and remember that these are just a few of the many things you can do to move.

Standing in a lunch line, or while waiting for the bathroom or copy machine can be made more interesting if you add some movement. You often wait for the microwave, the printer, at the doctor’s office, and even at the store. Don’t just wait: get moving to get healthy.

  • Walk in place or in a small circle

  • Dance in place

  • Do some stretches

  • Do Calisthenics

Walking to work, to your car, to the breakroom, or to class is a time when you are already moving. This is the perfect opportunity to make yourself more active by adding some additional movement. You can walk your dog, walk to the store, or even park further rather than closer to your destination.

  • Wave your hands

  • Strut instead of just walking

  • Add a few hops or do a few lunges on the way

  • Add a little extra distance by walking a little further and then back or by walking in a small circle

  • Instead of sitting and chatting, talk a walk outside while socializing

  • Walk while you discuss or meet with your colleagues

Remember you can gradually increase the intensity and the amount of time you spend moving to transition to a moderately active lifestyle, which has many health benefits and will help you feel better!

VMove at Home by older adult with limited mobility

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