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Sneaking Exercise into Your Day
We know we need to exercise --know the wonderful health benefits. We know how much better we will feel after we’ve done it ... so why don’t we do it? The main reasons I hear are “no time” and “no motivation”!
Here’s a solution that will combat both of these barriers to better health. Why not sneak some exercises and healthier habits into the activities that you already have to do every day anyway. Fool your body into getting healthier—what a concept!!!
One fitness trainer I spoke with said that our bodies are made to move. By finding ways to move instead of finding ways not to move, we use our bodies for what they were made to do. A Canadian Gold medalist in the 1988 Barcelona Olympics intentionally parked his car as far from a store at a shopping mall as possible. He realized that we have become so adverse to moving that we are digging ourselves into early graves. Our bodies can become stronger for fighting illness and for taking on day-to-day tasks.
Notice that we have remotes for our TVs and stereos, portable phones, elevators and escalators. These devices and many more discourage and hinder us from movement, from moving our bodies as we ought to do.
Instead of searching for ways to avoid moving our approach to life needs consideration of the physical, mental and emotional benefits to movement. Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you take the stairs instead of an elevator? Yes it might hurt at first but once your body begins to rid itself of cortisol and fills it up with endorphins there is a great sense of well-being.
Remember when you were young and you could not wait to get outside to run around, play with your friends or just plain let it all out with a good old baseball game, soccer game, or jump rope. Whatever it took to burn off that steam, to get all that pent-up energy out you did it without even thinking. This body of yours still wants to get it all out.
Today’s work world is highly demanding. Yet very seldom do we physically exhaust ourselves with endorphin-producing work. Our cardiovascular systems are certainly almost never stimulated in a healthy way while at our laptops or desktops. The sedentary but mentally stressful lifestyle we lead is causing us to accumulate the stress hormones that wreak havoc on our bodies. Consider the following very simple ways to keep your bodies moving and healthy.
On the phone
While talking on the phone, stand up instead of sitting, balance on one leg, go for a walk, do lunges, squats or stretches.
Sitting at the computer
replace your chair with a Swiss Ball and work your abdominals all day long. Try doing some knee lifts, shoulder rolls and chest stretches at your desk.
In the bathroom
Spice up your bathroom routine -- while brushing your teeth, balance on one leg, do isometric abdominal exercises by sucking your abs in towards your spine, stretch or do wall squats (See below).
At the table
Your chair is the perfect height for tricep dips … make it part of your daily routine to do 10 dips before dinner; this will tone and strengthen your triceps.
Standing in line
Hate waiting in line? Make it into time well spent as you do an invisible butt squeeze to tighten the largest muscle group in your body – your glutes. Repeat squeezing your cheeks together, hold for two seconds and then release—do this 15-20 times per day. Also use this time to practice holding your stomach in and holding your shoulders back to improve your posture.
At the mall
Do yourself a favour and find the parking spot farthest from the entrance. Remember, every little bit helps!
Learn to love housework
Not a fan of housework? Look at it as an opportunity to improve your health. Turn vacuuming into lunges, window cleaning into an arm workout, and imagine the possibilities you can create with a broom!!!
Book a meeting
Who says meetings always have to be in a stuffy boardroom? Book a walking meeting and kill two birds with one stone.
Use commercial breaks during your favourite TV program to do push ups or other exercises. Challenge yourself to improve each week.
Instead of trying to carry all of your groceries, files or garbage in one trip, take some extra time and make a few trips.
It’s the small things that you do each day that will add up. See how many activities you can add into your daily routine