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Laura was previously the editorial assistant on Healthy Food Guide. She is now a freelance journalist specialising in health, wellbeing, food & travel.

A new report has found we’re still a nation of couch potatoes, increasing our risk of early death. Here are five ways to get moving, even if you’re feeling lazy

 
1. Walk
Going for a walk is one of the easiest ways to start moving more: 10,000 steps a day burns around 400 calories. Studies show it can add up to seven years to your life, acts as an antidepressant and improves your muscle and bone strength. Up the ante even more by walking briskly for 2 minutes on and off over a 20 minute stretch for a high-intensity interval training effect.

2. Take the stairs
It’s always tempting to take the lift, but swapping it for stairs can make a big difference. One study found taking the stairs for an average six minutes a day led to a 10–15% drop in cholesterol and a 10–15% increase in fitness after seven weeks. An easy win, we reckon.

3. Squats for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Do 20 squats before you eat a meal – it only takes 2 minutes and trains your body to use food for fuel instead of storing it as fat.

4. Socialise more
Not down at the pub, but as part of a sports club. If you get revved up watching the badminton or cycling on TV, chances are you’ll enjoy taking part in it, too. Google the national association for the sport you’re interested in to find a local club and discover a healthier way to make and catch up with friends.

5. Try weights
Lifting weights a couple of times a week is a sure-fire way to keep your metabolism ramped up. Why? Having more lean muscle mass prolongs calorie burn, helping to shed fat and motivate you to keep on moving.

Read 6 exercises to do when you’re feeling lazy