Are you suffering from the side effects of prolonged sitting? It feels good to sit. And sometimes, you just need to kick up your heels and relax. But too much time spent sitting is linked to an increased risk of chronic conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated LDL (bad cholesterol), heart disease, and depression.

We have become a society of sitters. Think about generations past. Before there was technology at your fingertips, families might go for an after-dinner stroll or play a game of catch in the yard. But now, most evenings are spent engaged in screen scrolling and Netflix binges.

Being a professional couch potato is particularly concerning because of the bevy of bad behaviors that come with it. Most family rooms are located directly next to the kitchen, where delicious, decadent, diet-demolishing snacks can be found. This makes for easy access, and what’s more problematic, mindless munching. When you are snuggled up on the sofa, basking in snack heaven, you can effortlessly blow past the recommended serving size on that bag of Oreos. This combination of inactivity and overindulging is a guaranteed way to pack on the pounds and put your health in harms way.

But there is one simple solution to squash a sedentary lifestyle: moving more. Here are the top ways to feel more active, energized, and healthier:

At the office. If you have a demanding desk job, you are likely glued to your seat for most of the day. But there is always time for a pick-me-up. Schedule brief bouts of exercise throughout your workday to improve your health, crush calories, and increase mental clarity and productivity.

An easy way to do this is by setting your phone’s alarm to sound once an hour. When the alarm alerts you, take five minutes for some light stretches, a few deskercises, or a quick walk around the office building to boost your heart rate. Since exercise adherence is strongest in a group setting, consider recruiting some coworkers for a stair-climbing challenge. Set a group goal to hit a set number of stairway flights each week.

At home. Healthy habits start at home. Family members succeed at being more active and athletic when it’s a joint effort. To promote this, find creative ways to carve out time to tone up. Try these fun fit tips:

Go for a family walk after dinner. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes a walk, and do it at least three times a week. Make a pact that no one can watch television until this happens.

Liven up TV time by making a game out of it. A friendly competition can help motivate family members and distract from the fact that you are exercising. Every time there is a commercial break, see how many of the following exercises you can do:

  • Squat: Keep your body weight in your heels as you hinge back at your hips and lower your body into a squat. Your thighs should be parallel, or slightly lower, to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting stance.
Squat.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Squat.
  • Lunge: Take a step back with your right foot, lowering your body into a lunge. Your front knee shouldn’t extend past your toes, while your back knee should stay under your hips. Ideally, your legs should form a 90-degree angle at your knees. Hold for a count, then return to standing and switch to your left leg.
Lunge
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Lunge
  • Plank: Begin in a forearm dominant plank with your shoulders stacked above your elbows, spine straight, and neck neutral. See how long you can hold this position during commercial breaks.
Plank
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Plank
  • Jumping jack: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously jump your feet out wide while raising your arms up over your head, then briskly bring your arms and feet back to the starting stance.

Find time for fitness and you’ll cut down on the chances of having side effects from sitting.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt, ACE-CPT, is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.