If you hate trying to carve out an hour for the gym or even thinking about pedaling the stationary bike to nowhere, you’re not alone. Many people hate exercise because they equate it with hours spent in a gym lifting weights and expending energy for no apparent reason except to build muscles months down the road. There’s no immediate reward, which makes it harder. However, with a little information, you can exercise without even knowing it. That’s right! Consider all four types of exercise and with a little thought, you can get the same benefits making subtle changes to your every day life.
Strength training without the dumb bell.
No, that doesn’t mean you leave your spouse at home. It means you don’t have to have a specific set of equipment to get the job done. There are examples of a strength training exercise you can do anywhere. The easiest one is the grocery bag lift. While you may have a huge load of groceries that require a cart, if you only have a few bags, carry them to the car, doing curls as you walk. Even if you have a huge load, you can carry one or two bags. Alternating hands to push the cart. You can get a workout on your core and legs with squats. Consider washing the walls, going from top to bottom and back to top. Squat to do the bottom of the walls. Work quickly to get the maximum effectiveness.
Walking is a great workout, but power walking is better.
Okay, there are two ways to do things. The normal way and the supercharged way. Put yourself in the supercharged lane. Don’t just walk and mosey along, speed walk like you’re on a mission. The faster you walk, the quicker you’ll get there AND the higher you’ll raise your heart rate. The key to any endurance exercise is increased heart rate. You can mix it up if you have a bit of distance by adding high intensity interval training to the mix. It just means you go at top speed until your heart rate speeds, then lower the pace for about three times as long. Hit the high speed again. It provides a great cardio workout and can be done when doing housework, shopping or even dancing to the oldies.
Stretches are great for flexibility.
Add a little difficulty to the housework and have a great flexibility session. You can do squats to pick up clothes on the floor or turn the task to flexibility training and bend from the waist, not the knees, to do a form of toe touching to stretch the hamstrings and back muscles. Go slowly at first and bend your knees a little when you first start. Pick up one piece of clothing at a time, bending your knees less each time. Before you know it you’ll be able to pick up anything without ever needing to bend your knees.
> Get a workout program from the gym and see how you can modify it to match the tasks you do every day. You’ll be amazed at how many movements you make that mirror the exercise just working around the house.
> Make your life tougher to get tougher. Take the stairs, park further from the building and quit using labor saving devices when you can. There’s a reason they’re called labor saving!
> Do tasks at top speed. Have your “workout” task list created ahead of time and go from one to another. Do some at top speed and slow it down for others to let your heart rate slow.
> Enjoy your workout. Sure, you can work for a workout, but you can also play. Consider dancing classes, rock climbing, hiking or gardening for exercise too.