An active lifestyle is more than simply visiting the gym for an hour or jumping around in the living room to an aerobics tape. Be creative and find ways to incorporate movement into almost everything you do. Here are some suggestions from WF team to get you started and help you boost your activity level. Believe me, if you make a conscious effort to integrate more activity into your daily life, it will eventually become second nature. Give some of these suggestions a try!
- Walk as much as possible by parking the car a few blocks away from where you’re headed or walk to an appointment from your office instead of driving. Whenever you’re walking try to focus on long strides and a quicker than normal pace. This gets the heart rate going a bit faster than just meandering along.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up the stairs as quickly as you can. For a little variation, try slowing down and taking two stairs at a time to further strengthen your legs.
During breaks at work, walk the stairs, walk around the building or walk down the halls. Find any type of activity that keeps you moving during your break (you can sit at your desk and relax after the break!)
- Whenever you’re walking somewhere, take the “long way around.” Use this technique to get anywhere you’re going… from shopping at the mall to getting a drink at the water cooler.
Don’t use drive-thru windows. Park and get out of your car to do your banking, grab a bite to eat, or pick up the dry cleaning.
- At the supermarket, carry your own groceries out to the car without the shopping cart. And remember… park the car in a spot furthest from the store entrance!
- Whenever possible, stand instead of sitting. Even standing still will burn more calories than sitting on your rear end!
- Loose the remote. When was the last time you actually got up from your seat, engaged all your leg muscles, and walked over to change the channel on the TV?
- Unless it’s urgent, always opt for the bathroom that’s furthest from you. Better yet, use the bathroom upstairs! Do the same for answering the telephone. It’s estimated that Americans save walking approximately 70 miles per year with the advent of extension phones!
- When cleaning house, exaggerate your movements and make them big. Wash windows with a rag and make big arm circles and up and down movements. When vacuuming, switch hands every so often to give your arms and torso equal time on each side. Make long, rhythmic movements with the vacuum cleaner to get the heart rate up and deep clean the carpet at the same time!
- Plant a garden and work in it during the spring and summer. Gardening will take your body through a whole range of movements.
- Get rid of the power lawn mower or worse yet, the riding mower!! Get back to basics with a push mower. Rake the yard the old fashioned way… with a rake! If you have children around in the fall, pile up the leaves and jump in with the kids!
- Whenever possible with home improvement or fix ups, do them yourself. You can tackle jobs like painting and landscaping and as an added bonus, you’ll save money too!
- If you use a fireplace to help heat your home in the winter, chop and/or stack the wood yourself. Feeling more aggressive? Load and haul the wood home yourself instead of having it delivered to your doorstep.
- If you have children, or grandchildren, spend some quality time playing with them. Few things can jump-start your heart as quickly as trying to keep up with a child! Play catch, jump rope, play on the monkey bars, push them on the swing, or have a foot race.
- Make a date with your partner to go out dancing once or twice a month. Don’t be afraid to cut loose and have some fun, the longer and harder you dance, the better!
- Take lessons to learn how to play tennis, racquetball, golf or any other activity you think you might enjoy. Or, invite your partner to join you in learning how to ballroom dance.
- When spending the day at the lake, don’t oil up and bask on the beach (it’s bad for your skin!). Swim, rent a row boat or go water skiing and get active in the water.
- Join the local hiking, walking or cycling club. This is a great way to meet other active people!
- Designate an area of your vehicle as “The Locker Room.” In that area (or box) put a pair of tennis shoes, clean socks, clean towel, Frisbee, tennis rackets, softball and gloves, or any other items that strike your fancy. Whenever you’re out and about with a little extra time you can spontaneously stop off at a park to play catch, a tennis court for a game of tennis, or a walking path that’s calling you to explore it. This is an incredibly fun way to break up the monotony and do something that’s fun and unexpected on your own or with the whole family.