Back in October, I introduced my monthly fitness challenge, explaining my "inspiration" and why I think it's so important to do strength work ESPECIALLY as we age. (You can read all about that here.)
How are you doing?
By now, I hope you're having some success with my challenges.
Keep up the good work.
(And if you haven't started yet? Well. You can begin today!)
And add this . . .
Challenge #3 -- Look for ways to add physical activity to your life . . . all day, every day.
Now I'm not talking about "working out" or "exercising" here. I'm talking about plain old, unscripted and unplanned "physical activity."
Yeah. There's a difference.
Exercise . . . is an intentional, planned, structured event or session designed to improve or maintain fitness, usually for a period of 10 minutes or longer.
Physical activity . . . is any movement of the human body requiring a level of effort beyond one's resting heart rate.
Of course, I would love it if you fit in true exercise (as defined above) into your life every day. But that's not what my monthly challenge is about. My challenge is about doing simple, everyday things to improve your fitness and physical well-being without your even trying (much)! So let's forget about the "exercise" part right now, and focus on adding more "physical activity" to your life.
Why? Well. We tend to sit . . . a lot. We generally live very sedentary lives - and especially so as we get older. We sit and read. We sit and knit. We sit and watch TV. We sit and mess with our computers. Lots of sitting. Every day. And all that prolonged sitting adds to the wear and tear on our bodies. We're made to move, after all. And when we don't . . . our joints, tissues, and muscles pay a price. Physical inactivity . . . leads to more physical inactivity. It really is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing.
So my challenge to you this month . . . is to increase your physical activity every day.
It's easy! Here are some simple ideas:
- Choose parking places that are a little more inconvenient (by that I mean further from your destination) next time you're out and about. A little more walking is a good thing, and won't take much more time.
- Opt to take the stairs whenever possible. And use them at home every chance you get. Need to run something upstairs? Don't wait; take the extra trip.
- Picking up your mail? Walk to the box, instead of pulling up in your car on your way to the garage.
- Load your own groceries into and out of your car. Go ahead and carry that heavier package.
- Walk around - instead of sitting - while you talk on the phone.
- Hop (or skip or jump) down your hallway.
- Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes or so. Maybe even try a few jumping jacks before you sit back down.
- Have a dog? Add another block to your usual walk.
- Stand up while you put on your socks and shoes. Bend over to tie or fasten them.
- Balance on one leg - and then the other - while you brush your teeth or wash the dishes.
There are so many little things you can do to increase your physical activity every day. It might not count as "exercise," but it does keep your body moving. And the more you move now . . . the more you'll be ABLE to move in the future.
(And that's YOUR future we're talking about.)
"People think they need to feel better before moving more when it's the other way around."
--- Perry Nickelston
Previous Get Strong Challenges: