This article is part of a series in collaboration with ParticipACTION. Discover how "Everything gets better when you get active!"
Finding the time to get moving each day isn’t easy. Many of us juggle multiple responsibilities at work, at home and within our communities, so it’s not surprising that taking care of our bodies and minds can often be one of the last things we check off our daily to-do list.
But it really shouldn’t. Physical activity should always be at the top of the list. That’s because being active is an integral part of maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. Regular movement is associated with better overall physical health, a stronger immune system and a range of emotional and psychological perks, too, like increased feelings of happiness, confidence and improved energy.
Increase your opportunities for getting moving by putting together a “Get Active on the Go” kit that you can stash in a backpack, trunk, office drawer or desk. Here are a few items you should think about having at the ready:
Reusable water bottle
Keep a reusable, filled water bottle in your car, purse, backpack or at your desk to ensure you’ll be able to stay hydrated before, during, or after exercise. Being thirsty can make us feel sluggish and tired, which makes us less motivated to get moving.
It’s not always comfortable or practical to carry your sneakers with you everywhere. If you’re a commuter, stash a pair of sneakers in your trunk or backseat. If you work outside the home, you might want to consider keeping a pair under your desk or in a locker. It’s easier to hit the local trail or track for 20 minutes at lunch or after work when you’ve got the right footwear.
Elastics, clips and a hairbrush
It’s hard to enjoy a jog or brisk walk when your hair is flying around you or getting in your eyes. Do yourself a favour and tuck a handful of elastics and hair clips into your purse or backpack, or stash them in the glove compartment of your car. A small travel-sized hairbrush will allow you to do a quick clean-up post-walk.
Disposable wipes or a hand towel
The only thing worse than looking hot and sweaty after physical activity is feeling hot and sweaty. A packet of travel-sized disposable wipes or a small washable hand towel is a great back-up if you need a convenient refresh after a walk or jog.
Save yourself the potential anxiety and embarrassment of post-activity odor and carry some deodorant spray or stick. Like getting a walk outdoors under your belt midday, you won’t regret it.
Dry shampoo can be a great fix when you don’t have time to shower, or if you exerted yourself a little more than usual. A spritz at the roots and no one will be the wiser.
The weather can turn on a dime but your plans for getting moving don’t need to do the same. A hat can vastly improve your experience of a hot sunny hike.
Umbrella or sweatshirt
A travel-sized umbrella tucked into your bag, an easily bundled rain jacket or hooded sweatshirt can ensure you don’t get wet or catch a chill on an overcast day.
If you’re going to be out and about in the sun be sure to protect yourself from the sun’s powerful UV rays with an appropriate SPF.
There’s no reason not to get outside and get moving this summer, but a buff or neck gaiter may come in handy as an impromptu nose and mouth covering if you’re in highly populated trails or parks.
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