About a month ago I talked about ways to turn your Spring cleaning into a workout. We went over ideas on ways to add more activity into a busy life at my First Place 4 Health class...and was very proud of my members who came up with some good ones! I also found a great article in the Spring 2009 Heart Healthy Living Magazine (which I highly recommend picking up a copy) also going over this topic. I will take as a divine nudge to share these tips!
When you have a jam packed schedule it is easy to fall back on the "I don't have time" excuse when it comes to daily exercise. What most don't realize is that there are several activities and modifications to things you are already doing that can be classified as physical activity. Start with these simple tips and work your way up from there!
1. Sunrise Stretch - When you wake up in the morning. Take 2 minutes to stretch and breath. You don't even really need to get out of bed to do this! Stretch your body out finger tips to tippy toes and take a deep breath. Proceed to stretch your arms, legs, back, and neck. In your time of stretching, meditate on your goals for the day. It really can help!
2. Take the far away parking spot! - Whether you are at work or at the store, park at the end of the row and walk! This one brings up one of my biggest pet peeves! My mom will circle the parking lot for as long as it takes to get that perfect spot. In that time, I could have parked, walked to, and if its the holiday season started on my shopping at the store in the same amount of time! Just Walk! Imagine how many miles you could rack up if did this every day!
3. Use the upstairs bathroom! - If you live in a house that is 2 story or work in a multi-story building use the bathroom one level up...and take the stairs! If have stairs around at all USE THEM! They offer a great way to exercise and it costs nothing!
4. Keep a small set of weights or resistance bands at your desk or nearby. - Take two minutes to do bicep curls or some other simple exercise. The resistance bands can be used in hundreds of strength training exercises and they are very affordable!
5. Keep a set of workout clothes in your car. - Minimize those workout avoiding excuses such as "I'd have to go home and change..." Keep your change of clothes with you. Invite a friend or spouse to meet you at the gym or park after work or sometime during the day. It helps to have that extra support!
A few other tips to help you out...
- Eat a healthy breakfast (include carbs, lean protein, and fiber).
Breakfast jump starts your metabolism, boosts calorie burning, and stabilizes blood sugar. You will see a major improvement in your health and in your workouts!
- Write down your progress.
Keeping a journal of your daily exercise and food consumption will show you what your habits are and allow for modification. It takes just a few seconds to jot down your entries it helps you with your progress!
- Read the label.
This step alone can make a huge difference in your health. Do you know how much sugar is in your cereal? Do you know how many grains are in your bread? Pick a small goal and focus on the labels. ex. Reduce sugars - find foods with low sugar. Once you've learned the facts, move on to the next goal! Very simple! Very effective!
- Drink water.
The appeal for soft drinks and other sugary drinks is definitely strong, but help your body by reducing the number of these drinks and substituting with water. If you have have a flavor, add in a few sprinkles of splenda and drop in some fruit for your own low cal fruit water!
Lastly, take a few deep breaths and few stretches before bed and be proud at all of your proactive work towards better health!
..."And the last stretch of the day, SMILE!"