We have all heard this, “A body in motion stays in motion, a body in rest stays at rest.” The concept, as much as it probably goes in one ear and out the other, couldn’t be more true . As we get older, it is imperative that we keep our bodies moving as much as we possibly can if we want to keep as active as we desire. I admit, I am guilty of making up one excuse after another as to why I can’t exercise every day. But being active doesn’t always mean following a regimented schedule of cardio and weights 3-5 times a week (although, that is ideal for those who are physically able and who have the time). For the rest of us, there are other ways to be active when we can’t make it to the gym. Here are a few ways to incorporate more activity into your daily schedule.
- Say adios to the elevator or escalator at the mall, and choose to take the stairs to the shoe department. Your extra work will be worth the reward of taking home those new stilettos!
- Play with your kids the next time they want to go outside for a game of tag. They’ll be impressed with how fast you really are, and perhaps so will you!
- Skip the Swiffer and muster up some elbow grease. I know, it’s faster to use the latest cleaning gadget, but in the end nothing works better than a bucket, a bicep and a bottle of Murphy’s soap oil.
- Reconsider if you really need to drive to meet your friend for lunch. Walking alone has so many physical benefits, but getting out in the sun, and taking in the scenery can calm nerves, relieve stress and lower cortisol levels. Plus, it you may be able to burn off that brownie you had for dessert.
- Fidget at work. Stretching your legs, and standing up frequently is an easy way to break up the day and to re-align your posture.
- Get out in the garden! Just mowing the lawn alone can burn 250-300 calories, and 1 hour of pulling weeds and raking leaves can burn as much as 400-500 calories/hour.
- Cook! Cooking a meal involves bending to get the pans, reaching to get the salt, walking to the refrigerator, walking back when you forget the onion, standing while you stir and even washing the dishes when you’re done (yay). Not only does cooking keep you moving and using nearly all of your muscle groups, but you can burn up to 80 calories in a half hour!
- Ditch the DVR and watch your favorite show at its scheduled time. During commercials, try seeing how long you can hold that plank, or see how many squats you can do.
- Clean out your cabinets. Think about how much you move when you do a little spring cleaning. Organizing your home a few times each month adds up to a lot of moving, and a lot less mess!
- Dance at that party! I know, it’s easier to sit on the side and sip your wine, but do remember that the DJ is there for a reason! Besides, you know you really want to dance 🙂
Initially, you will have to make a conscious decision every day to make the effort into becoming more active. Over time, these tasks will eventually become habit and create a healthier and more energetic you! Remember, it’s never too early (or late) to start!
-Susan Madden; Member, Mom, and Guest Blogger