We’re all guilty of idly skimming through our social feeds during a commercial break only to look up an hour later and find ourselves way too deep down a rabbit hole of Game of Thrones theories. But spending too long scrolling on the couch (or in bed) can result in unburned calories and brains badly in need of a movement-induced endorphin boost.
Not to mention, living a more active lifestyle is one of the most reliable ways to help decrease your risk factors for common cancers and heart disease.
Taking a cue from Amgen — a biotechnology pioneer and founder of the Breakaway from Cancer® and Breakaway from Heart Disease™ national initiatives to increase awareness of resources available to people affected by cancer and motivate people to understand their risk factors for heart disease — we’re here to inspire you to get up and get out. Because when used for a purpose, your phone can help motivate you to get moving. Here are five ways to get started:
1. Challenge yourself.
Setting weekly fitness goals and tracking your progress through a social fitness app like STRAVA, which tracks cycling and running activities, is a useful way to keep yourself accountable.
If that’s still not enough motivation for you, here’s a way to ensure every mile you run, walk, or bike earns a $ 1 donation to a worth cause: sign up for Amgen and STRAVA’s Breakaway Challenge, a national social fitness movement that aims to motivate people to work toward healthier lifestyles and a commitment to walking, biking, running, and general fitness.
STRAVA will aggregate the total miles contributed to the Breakaway Challenge and Amgen will match the first 400,000 miles with a $ 400,000 donation evenly distributed to its independent non-profit partners. Participants can join the Challenge by downloading the STRAVA app to their mobile device and joining the Breakaway Challenge, or by visiting www.AmgenBreakawayChallenge.com.
2. Set a movement alarm.
If you know you have a lazy Sunday ahead of you, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move around at least every half hour, which is the amount of time recommended by experts. Every time it goes off, that’s your cue to do 10 jumping jacks in your living room, go for a quick sprint around the block, or take a spin on your bike around the neighborhood.
Tip: Customize an alarm with your favorite song instead of choosing one of the standard sounds. Choose an upbeat, fun song that’ll really motivate you. (Download your hype track on iTunes or Google Play.)
3. Run to an audiobook.
If your excuse for being glued to the couch is a really good book, finish it on the road. Just download your page-turner on your smartphone using Audible or Google Play Books. Then, on your next walk or run, turn on your Strava app to get moving and keep the story going at the same time. Now that’s smart multitasking!
4. Practice mindfulness as you move.
Take your next meditation session outdoors to get in some extra steps and de-stress simultaneously. Walking meditation is a more active version of sitting meditation, and apps like Spotify and Insight Timer have tons of guided walking meditation options available.
5. Use a habit-tracking app to push yourself.
People love their habit-tracking apps, and they may be on to something. Several of the apps let you input daily habits specific to your lifestyle and you can check them off as you go. For an additional jolt of motivation, these apps track how many days in a row you’ve completed that task.
If you’re up to something like 200 days of walking every afternoon, keeping your streak is a good way to push yourself to get off the couch! To log your daily running, biking, or running (and more), use a habit-tracking app like Productive or Streaks and kiss your couch goodbye.