“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” -Jillian Michaels
Exercise and diet go hand in hand when it comes to meeting your health goals. But with busy schedules and more time spent at home right now, it can be difficult to get in a good workout. Plus, not everyone is an avid runner or a yoga fan. But there are easy ways to be physically active without even thinking about it.
1. Park your car in the back of the parking lot. Whether you are going to the grocery store or to a doctor’s appointment, you can park your car in the back of the parking lot. Parking in the back requires you to walk further to get to the entrance, thereby increasing your steps and physical activity.
2. Take the stairs. When you are faced with the choice between the elevator and the stairs, take the stairs! We understand foregoing the stairs if you need to climb 9 flights of stairs or if you have an injury that makes it painful to take the stairs, but we encourage you to choose the stairs when you are able.
3. Walk while you’re on the phone. Many of us tend to do this anyway. But walking while you are on the phone is a great way to get in those extra steps without even thinking about them. You can pace in a circle or go for a stroll around the block — whatever gets you moving.
4. Get a standing desk. Instead of sitting down all day, you can get a standing desk to encourage you to stand more. Standing can help you strengthen your legs and get better posture. Compared to sitting, standing also helps you burn more calories.
5. Take advantage of your morning routine. While you are brushing your teeth or doing your hair, try incorporating physical activity. Stand on one leg or do some squats. Turn your rituals into mini workouts.
6. Pick up the pace. Whenever you walk, pick up the pace to help you burn more calories. (Plus, it will make you look like you have more purpose and determination.)
7. Use a basket instead of a cart when you go grocery shopping. A cart will carry the load for you, while a basket requires you to work out those arm muscles. Of course, a basket might not be practical for large grocery loads, but you get the idea.
8. Choose longer checkout lines. While you might not like waiting in line, you can use the extra time in a checkout line to help you stand more throughout your day. As you stand, you can focus on keeping your core tight or even tap your foot to burn more calories.
9. Clean your house. Mopping, vacuuming, and scrubbing surfaces is a great way to break a sweat. These movements require physical exertion that’s good for your body (and for your home).
10. Play with your kids. Kids tend to be very active, so playing with them can help you exercise while spending quality time with them. If you don’t have kids of your own, you can always babysit for a friend or hang out with family members with young kids.
As humans, we tend to take the path of least effort so that we can be more efficient and save our energy (See Building Healthy Nutrition Behaviors). But a little extra effort is a great way to increase physical activity and get the most out of your day. As you become more aware of opportunities to be physically active, you can take advantage of them to benefit your health.
Read this post on Becoming Aware of Your Habits to learn more about this awareness stage.
ASK YOURSELF THIS:
· How can you make your daily routine more physically active? What might keep you from implementing the tips above?
· How do you feel when you aren’t very active? How about when you are physically active?
Select 1–2 activities from our list and focus on them throughout the week. Track your efforts to be physically active in the “Daily Notes” section of the EatLove log.