How Incidental Exercise Can Change Your Life
By Lorna Jane
You're busy. Who isn't these days? Whether at work or play, you're always on the go. From the moment you wake up to the time your head hits the pillow, every minute of your day is accounted for. Sound familiar?
As our lives get busier it becomes increasingly difficult to exercise regularly. That said, don't despair, as I'm here to tell you that you can still increase your heart rate and burn off some of those extra pounds by simply incorporating small amounts of exercise into your every day life. Incidental exercise is a great way to get fit without noticing and all you need to do is find a few extra minutes here and there because we all know even a small amount of exercise is better than none at all.
Here are 5 tips on how to fit a few minutes of exercise into your busy day:
1. Turn That Get-Together into an Exercise Opportunity. You're off to meet someone for lunch or coffee. Why not meet, and go for a walk first? It's amazing how enjoyable exercise can be combined with a little stimulating conversation and the company of a good friend. Make it a regular date, so you'll be helping a friend get fit and there's always that cappuccino waiting for you when you finish, for a little added motivation!
2. Walk More. Take a walk on your lunch break or walk your dog on the weekends. It's a great way to clear your head, get some fresh air and escape the house or office. Another good idea is to walk your kids to school. As well as being good for your health and the health of your children, time spent without the distractions of television, homework and computer games will do wonders for your relationship.
3. Do Two things At Once. Learn to look at every activity as a chance to exercise your body. Dance a little while you dust, do leg-lifts or knee bends whilst you're brushing your teeth. When you're on your mobile, do some stretches or walk around the room. You could even do some much-needed pelvic floor exercises while you're making dinner or watching television. Have some fun with it, and use your imagination! The only rule is to keep moving!
4. Play With Your Kids. Instead of using the excuse that you can't exercise because you're looking after the kids, why not get outside and join them? Turn off the TV and play a game of hide and seek, go bike riding, or have a go on the swings... not only will you be getting some much needed exercise, but you'll have a whole lot of fun too.
5. Turn Shopping Into an Exercise Opportunity. I was telling everyone prior to Christmas that shopping was my cardio! So why not stick to that mindset and get a mini workout while picking up a few of your favorite things? Park a little further away from your usual mall entry to allow a little extra walking, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and if you use the escalator make sure you use it as a stair master and get those legs moving to improve your cardiovascular system and tone your buttocks and thighs. Last, resist the temptation to put everything in a shopping cart; carry your shopping and use the weight of the bags as muscle toning resistance on your way back to the car.
These are just a few of my ideas. I guess what I'm saying is, if you change your mindset you can easily find ways to move a little more on those days when you just can't find that full hour of dedicated workout time.
So what are you waiting for? Get started! There is no time like the present to make incidental exercise a part of your every day and feel the difference a little exercise can make to how you look, feel, and live your life.
If there is anything you would like me to write about, I would love to hear from you. Simply drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lorna Jane, Australia's leading activewear brand for women (now available in the U.S.). With her passion for being active, her love for healthy food and recipes, not to mention her infectious positive outlook on life, Lorna inspires women to Move, Nourish and Believe every day.