It’s not like we’ve been living in denial all along, but a Stanford University analysis of “planetary-scale” data collected from smartphones has revealed that India is one of the laziest countries in the world, based on the average number of steps taken in a day. The researchers used data from over seven lakh people who use a specific activity monitoring app to arrive at this conclusion.

And while India is doing everything she can to put herself on the map, this is one dubious distinction we’d be best off avoiding. Luckily, the solution is obvious and something completely in our own power – more exercise. Now, we’re not telling you to join the gym or anything as drastic as that (and let’s face it, you aren’t going to turn into a fitness freak overnight) but there are plenty of other, simpler things you can do to raise your activity level enough to make a real difference to your activity level.

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Take the Stairs

Elevators and escalators make our lives easier, but they also contribute to laziness by helping us avoid one of the most effective ways of burning quite a few calories – taking the stairs. It may not seem like much, but even the few flights of stairs you have to climb to get to your apartment, office or a store you really want to buy something from in the mall, can make a massive difference to your daily activity level. There’s a reason the stair-climber is one of the most popular pieces of equipment in the gym, after all. However, if you’re someone with a pre-existing medical condition that prevents you from stair climbing – such as heart issues or joint problems – there are other, less strenuous options available to you.

Walk Whenever Possible

Too often do we get on our motorcycles or in cars to zip to the store two streets away so we can pick up a loaf of bread or some other minor purchase. While these modern conveniences may have made our lives so much easier, they’re bad for us in the long run by giving us the option to take the easy way out even when the alternative doesn’t involve too much effort in the first place. So, the next time you’re thinking of using transport for a distance that’s easy to walk, it’s time to go the distance. Don’t worry if it feels tiring at first, because it becomes easier and, in fact, enjoyable after some time.

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Find a Group of Exercise Peers

If you’re the sort of person who has trouble finding the motivation to exercise on their own, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Why do you think you see so many people walking in groups in most jogger’s parks and other public spaces? There’s a massive upside to walking in groups as well – research has shown that organised group walking considerably improves the health (both physical and mental) of the group’s participants. What’s more, being part of a group also ensures that you get some exercise in on days when you’re feeling lazy since the other members of the group will hold you accountable for your actions. It’s much more difficult to bunk an evening’s exercise routine when there are others counting on you to show up.

Play a Sport

With the rise of pay-to-play sporting arenas, which provide you with both the space and the equipment to play the sport of your choice, it’s become easier than ever to get back to our favourite sporting activity at a later stage in life. It has become increasingly common for adults to take the time out of their busy lives to get in a late-night game of football or badminton with their friends. And, honestly, if you’re determined to make exercise a more prominent part of your daily life, then you may as well have some fun doing it.

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