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Small steps towards a healthier lifestyle

Modern life can be hectic so fitting an exercise regime into your day can be challenging at times. The good news is that you don’t always need to schedule in a trip to the gym to get your workout, there are plenty of small changes you can make which will raise your endorphins, increase your fitness levels and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Here are a few of our top tips:

1. Stand up more

Most of us spend too much time sitting down which has been shown to constrict circulation, slow your metabolism and tighten your connective tissues.

Take as many opportunities as you can to stand throughout the day – whether it’s during your commute on public transport, during your tea or coffee break, or while you’re on the phone to a friend.

Not only does standing burn 1.36 more calories a minute compared to sitting, but it also reduces your risk of heart disease. So the next time you have to fire off a few emails, trying doing it standing up - you might even find you prefer it, sales of standing desks have soared in recent years!

2. Always take the stairs

Yes, the lift is tempting… but did you know that taking the stairs counts as resistance exercise?

Stair climbing can help you build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints and uses up 8 to 11 kcal of energy per minute, which is similar to other moderate level physical activities such as swimming or using a rowing machine.

3. Walk as much as you can

If you’re keen to improve your overall health, there’s no simpler way to do this than by increasing the amount of walking you do over the course of the day. Walking is a low impact weight-bearing exercise and just 30 minutes a day has been proven to increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.

If you need a little extra motivation, why not join in The Centre’s ‘Clock Your Steps Challenge’ this January while you shop?

The team at The Centre regularly clock up 1,000 miles between them every month but throughout January they’re aiming to increase their step-count to 1,600 miles by January 31st - with a massive target of 25,000 miles to reach by the end of the year.

If you’d like to take part in our fitness challenge this January while shopping at The Centre, simply pick up an entry form from our Customer Service Desk near New Look, show one of our Customer Service Staff your pedometer, or pedometer phone app, at the start and end of your visit so that they can log your steps, then hand your completed form back to our team. What’s more, you’ll be entered in to a daily draw to win a £50 Gift Card, which can be spent in over 80 stores and all restaurants in The Centre.

For more information on our ‘Clock Your Steps Challenge’ please visit our news pages:

4. Do a big shop

True athletes carry their own groceries! Done correctly, it’s a form of weight training - giving your arms and legs a workout, strengthening your core, improving your grip strength and helping to build shoulder stability.

All you need to do is carry your bags with the weight distributed evenly between both hands, preferably while keeping your back straight, shoulders back and head/chest up.

Think of this as your gentle nudge to carry a week’s worth of shopping home... or at least to the car park!

5. Take time to plank

Planking is a great option for those short on time and though they may seem simple, when done correctly they work many muscle groups, strengthen your core and improve your posture.

A proper plank should have your body in an upward push-up position, with your hands directly underneath your shoulders, or for a more challenging workout, rest your weight on your forearms.

So, whether you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or for the next episode of your favourite Netflix show to start, try to hold a plank for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds – repeat until the kettle has boiled or the credits stop rolling!