“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” ~ Joan Welsh
If you’re not living an active lifestyle or exercising regularly don’t over complicate it…just start with the basics. What “can” you do? Most people know what they “can’t” do but they seldom know all they “can” do to live a healthier lifestyle and succeed at achieving their goals and dreams.
Can you incorporate any of the following activities into your daily schedule?
Stance – proper posture can strengthen the muscles that support your body’s core axis—the chest, shoulders, back, legs, and abdominals to make sure they are aligned properly. This creates balance throughout your body. Focusing on these foundational muscles helps you to burn more calories and provides for great training transition to more advanced exercises in the future.
Standing – the average adult can burn approximately 30-60 calories for every hour they stand up. If you can’t find the time to exercise just find more opportunities to stand up. Don’t sit down when your kids or grandkids play at the park or in a sporting activity. Stand up and cheer them on.
Strolling – you don’t have to start a formal walking routine if you haven’t been doing the basics. Start burning more calories by adding a few more steps to your day. Park farther away from the grocery store, post office, restaurants and quit circling around for 5 minutes waiting for the one next to the handicap spot to break loose!
Stairs – remember the at home exercise machine called “The Stairmaster”? Well don’t buy one, become one! Find the stairs and get to know them wherever you go (work, hotels, apartment complex, etc.). They will do more for you than the elevator. If you a physically able to use the stairs you should as they will help you burn more calories and assist you in maintaining your health.
Samba – okay so you’re not a dancer and you don’t think you can dance your way up the mountain? I understand. But if you simply turn up the music while you’re cleaning the house, garage or doing yard work I’d bet you’d pick up the pace! When you pick up the pace you burn a few more calories. You may not burn off a double cheeseburger in regards to calories but if you’re making sensible decisions about your nutrition you don’t have to do a lot of extra activity to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight.
Switch – If it has a switch try to use less of it for the next couple of weeks and be more active. Turn off the TV, Computer, Blackberry, iPod, etc. unless you’re being active with it (exercising). Wash the dishes and car by hand vs. using the machines to do the work for you. I understand the convenience of using technology and I use it quite often even to this day but if you’re struggling to find the time to exercise or be active this is a good start.
More ways to increase physical activity
- Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.
- Push the baby in a stroller.
- Get the whole family involved — enjoy an afternoon bike ride with your kids.
- Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching the kids play.
- Walk the dog — don't just watch the dog walk.
- Clean the house or wash the car.
- Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less.
- Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.
- Mow the lawn with a push mower.
- Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden.
- Play with the kids — tumble in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.
- Exercise to a workout video.
- Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk or skate the rest of the way.
- Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.
- Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.
- Join the office softball team or walking group.
- Walk, jog, skate, or cycle.
- Swim or do water aerobics.
- Take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.
- Golf (pull cart or carry clubs).
- Canoe, row, or kayak.
- Play racket ball, tennis, or squash.
- Ski cross-country or downhill.
- Play basketball, softball, or soccer.
- Hand cycle or play wheelchair sports.
- Take a nature walk.
- Most important — have fun while being active!
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eHealth Challenge Tip: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
One slip-up or occasional indulgence will not ruin your chances of long-term weight-management success. If you find yourself doing some unintended overeating, the best thing to do is get back on track immediately rather than waiting to restart or allowing this one lapse to become a relapse into old habits.