12 WAYS TO EXERCISE WITHOUT EXERCISING
Wait. What? Did I just say exercise without exercising? How does that work?
For exercise, I’m referring to movement. Physical activity. And exercising means what many typically think of as running or weight lifting or something hard and not fun. (Sorry, running is not fun for me.)
There are all forms of exercise and I can write an article just explaining them. I probably will at some point. Bottom line, though, exercise is about physical movement.
Nowadays, we spend much of our day sitting. A lot. We sit a lot. During the car commute. At work. In front of the TV. On the computer at home. Playing with our phones. Playing video games. Then we’re off to bed to do it all again the next day.
Many days, the last thing you want to do is exercise. Or maybe you hate the idea of exercising period.
You don’t need to kill yourself every day with a grueling hour long sweat session.
If you want to balance your overall health you do, however, need to move.
So how do you exercise without exercising?
By adding movement into your daily activities. By moving in ways that’s fun and doesn’t feel at all like exercise. The Fitbit started with tracking steps. It simply wanted us to move more. Now Fitbits can do so much more.
Consider these 12 Ways to Exercise without Exercising:
- Take a walk
There are a ton of health benefits to walking. It’s good for your bones and muscles. It improves your mood, balance and coordination. Walking also helps prevent and manage certain conditions.
Remember the Fitbit? Walk more. Find any possible way to add more daily walking. In the parking lot. To the restroom. Every evening to watch the sunset.
Who loves to dance? I do. I do! Every time I’d go to the dance club (back in the day) I’d come home a sweaty mess. But I loved it so much and had so much fun, then I never considered it exercise or that I was in fact exercising.
Beachbody saw this and created two incredible dance programs – Cize and Country Heat. I, of course, had to try Cize. It’s pretty darn fun and doesn’t feel at all like exercising. Check out this short clip of my one person dance party.
- Take the stairs
Climbing stairs can be an intense workout. It’s awesome for your legs and your cardiovascular system. Run some stairs and your legs and lungs will be on fire. In gymnastics we’d do stair runs as part of our conditioning. I did a couple stair climb events while living in Chicago. I’m telling you – incredible.
But right now, I’m just saying to add a flight of stairs where possible. Take the elevator on the second floor. Maybe one day you won’t need the elevator at all.
- Ride a bike
Get out your bike and take a ride around the neighborhood. Look at it from a different perspective than in a car. Enjoy the outdoors.
- Go for a swim
Leave the raft deflated. Play around. Tread water. Run – it’s a lot different in water. Take a few laps. Playing around in a pool is both fun and exerting.
As kids we play. All day. Then we grow up and get lazy. We don’t play anymore. If you have kids, play with them. Shoot hoops. Play catch, tag, hopscotch. Jump rope. Kick a ball around. You’ll spend quality time with your family and get some exercising movement in at the same time. If you don’t have kids, find a league you can join for a sport you enjoy(ed) playing. Start playing again.
- Do yard work
Rake leaves. Shovel snow. Dig up dirt for the garden. Pull weeds. Don’t let some automated machine do these things. Use them to benefit you.
What about lifting weights? I don’t want to lift weights. There are ways around that.
Strength Training Options:
- Carry more groceries
This is one example of picking up and moving more/heavier objects. Be careful doing this but grab more groceries before heading into the house. Take a grocery basket instead of a cart. Start lifting more everyday things and heavier everyday items.
This, in essence, is lifting weights. When you do add more traditional strength training to your routine, you’ll notice daily activities get easier. SCORE.
- Get up off the floor unassisted
Get on the floor. Now get up without rolling around or using something to push off of. I believe it was in the Fit2B program that I heard simply getting up off the floor unassisted can extend your life. Seems easy enough. Sit on the floor while watching TV. Every so often get up. At least you’ll be working a little harder when you get up to grab a snack. (A healthy snack, of course.)
- When cooking or baking, mix things by hand
I love my big mixer. Makes everything so much easier. That’s the point, right? To make our lives easier? In some cases, that’s great. This doesn’t have to be one of them.
Think about this: if you don’t have a mixer and are forced to mix everything by hand, would you make those treats as often? Because when you mix by hand, you can feel the burn in your shoulders. Pushing a spoon through heavy ingredients is in fact resistance training.
- Clean the house
I’ve said this before but cleaning the house is like gardening. You’re moving and being active while doing something that technically should be done, anyway. It just depends on how clean you want your house to be.
Are you scrubbing and scrubbing the floors? On your hands and knees? Pushing the mop back and forth, back and forth? Reaching and stretching to scrub high/far places?
You can work up quite a sweat ridding your house of stubborn stains.
- Hold babies – hold them longer
If you’re a new or relatively new mom, you’re working your biceps all the time. Holding that butterball of joy is a great bicep workout. Switch arms to work both. And don’t put the baby down as soon as he/she gets too heavy.
There are a myriad of ways to add movement into your day. Get creative. But move. Just move more.
After incorporating additional movement into your life, you may like the way you feel. Exercise helps you sleep better. It gives you energy. It relieves stress and improves mood. You may even notice an improvement in your memory; in your overall quality of life.
You may like these feelings enough to try exercising. You’ll pick up a kettlebell. You’ll try a plank. You’ll pick up the pace on your walk. You’ll try an exercise program. Before you know it, you’re doing 30 day challenges. Because if a little movement makes you feel good, imagine how more will make you feel.
Strong. Healthy. Confident. Proud. Accomplished.
You may think exercising sucks. And quite honestly, there may be times that it does. But if you find ways to make it fun, you’ll experience positives that outweigh the negatives by miles. Maybe I should say years.
TRACK AND MARK YOUR ACTIVITY!
Are you keeping a fitness journal? Research shows that by keeping a food and fitness journal, writing down your workouts and what you eat, you lose more weight and reach your goals quicker. Fitbook is an awesome journal that provides tips, motivation and plenty of space to reflect and document things that inspire you. I use this to help plan my workouts and my meals. I love the extra tips it offers. Oftentimes, I’m left thinking – That’s a good one. I’ll have to try that. There are actually a few journal options to choose from.
How do you find ways to move more?
As always, please remember that I am not a medical professional, personal trainer or certified instructor… I’m just a hard hitting girl who wants to be healthy and strong! Before you begin any fitness or nutrition program, please consult your physician!
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