Most people think exercising has to be a formal session – where you walk into a gym or a room in your home designated for that purpose.
If you want to work out but can’t seem to find structured time frames to get it done, don’t despair. Many everyday tasks can be easily turned into a fitness activity. Here are a few suggestions to get started:
Walk, Walk, Walk
Walk whenever you can and leave your vehicle at home. If you must drive to your next destination, park further away and walk part of the way. Walking is one of the best exercises you can undertake, and it gets you outside to enjoy the sunshine.
Avoid the Elevators
Whether at work, at play or just out and about, try to bypass elevators and take the stairs. Your legs will thank you (eventually), and you’re burning extra calories along the way.
Sub Happy Hour for Gym Time
Are you a regular at Happy Hour? Skip it on a scheduled basis and plan to hit the gym or walk in the park. Maybe some of the friends you meet up with are just as interested in getting fit as you are. Ask around and try to buddy up for exercising.
Exercise at Home
One of the easiest ways to work in fitness at home is to find a routine you can do while watching your favorite pieces of media. Already have an exercise bike or treadmill? Set it up so you can watch your TV while you exercise, and the time will fly by. The same thing goes for floor and weight routines.
If you pay someone to do your chores at home, or you allocate them to your kids, take back a few and turn them into workouts. Stop and think about how much activity such work really is – running a vacuum and mopping are options that can be done vigorously.
Yard work has its merits as well. Cutting the grass with a push mower instead of a riding mower can cover lots of muscle activity and burn a tremendous amount of calories, based on just how great an area the lawn covers. Hedges need trimming? Do it yourself. Have a garden that needs to be hoed? Even more opportunities to get fit await in your own space.
According to Tulsa trainer John Jackson, working in fitness outside the gym is a good idea, particularly after you have been committed to a gym for awhile and have seen some results.
“After achieving a structured and consistent level of fitness, varied training forms can be implemented,” he says. “Incorporate dynamic movements while on your leisure walk in a park. For instance, take a brisk walk for two minutes and then skip for 30 seconds.”
Jackson notes that a few basic tools outside the gym can include elastic bands, light dumbbells and a weight vest for resistance movements.
“Do lunges for 30 seconds, combined with dumbbell squat presses for 30 seconds,” he advises. “These types of workouts can be challenging and fun individually or with a group. I would suggest discussing your fitness plan with a health professional and incorporating the appropriate techniques to maximize your fitness goals.”