I read this really interesting article that I can no longer find (go figure) that talks about ways to improve your fitness without intentionally working out – it’s great for people who can’t afford/don’t have time to go to a gym, or ones just looking to supplement their workout. It was filled with little tips to get more out of your every day tasks to improve your overall fitness. I LOVE this idea. Love, love, love!
I’ve been implementing them for three weeks now, and am really impressed with the results!
The key tips were things like:
- Learn to speed walk, and speed walk everywhere you go (I have started this now and find it’s amazing how quickly you adjust to speed walking – and I really enjoy the burst of energy it gives me even if I’m just speed walking to the bathroom)
- Park the furthest you can from any entrance (I’ve always done this, but I admit on rainy days I often cheat and park close. But no more! I have an umbrella in my car now so I have no good excuse!)
- Do one lap of the entire grocery store first, and then do your shopping (This one seemed odd to me at first, but I tried it last week and enjoyed it. It didn’t take long, and I felt like I got a bit of energy from the jaunt around the store. Also gave me a chance to see what was on sale, and decided if I REALLY needed it by the time I walked around doing my actual shopping. I really think it helped with impulse buys too!)
- Set a timer on your phone or work calendar to get up every 1.5 hours for a 5-10 minute walk (I do a modified version of this and set my calendar to get up and walk once in the AM and once in the PM – and will build up to more often. I am hesitant to take time away from my busy job to trot around the building a couple times, but I think if I can make it work by dropping off a few items, peeing, getting water, etc, it will hardly impact my work day at all. I also find the 5-10 minute walk gives me energy and improves my focus.)
- Take the long way around anywhere you walk (Use this daily at work. I walk to the furthest bathrooms, the long way around to the cafeteria, the long way around to deliver stuff, etc. etc.)
- When walking in the woods, select bumpier terrain (if physically able) the extra effort will give you more exercise than a walk on a flat surface (Haven’t had a chance to use this yet, but plan to when we try out geocaching this weekend!)
- Always take the stairs (I do this on and off, but will commit to being more consistent with it)
- Clean with a purpose: set a timer for each task and rush to get it done (without skipping on the details) (This is the one I LOVE the most! I have started by setting a timer for each room I clean (I.e: 8 minutes for the bathroom) it’s amazing how fast that time goes by, and how sweaty you get rushing to get a good, thorough clean on a room in a limited time. So far, I haven’t made it in time ONCE – but I get closer every day!)
- Drink water first thing in the morning (before your eyes are even fully open), and eat something. (This one has made the biggest difference. I wake up at 5:20 and I used to not eat or drink until 8:30 – that’s 3 hours of operating with zero fuel of any kind. Now, I drink water as soon as I wake up – and then steadily all morning. I eat a hard boiled egg or an apple when I wake up, and then have my breakfast at 8:30 like usual. What.a.difference. I am more energized and I feel way better. One day I slept late and didn’t eat or drink – and I could barely keep my eyes open on my long commute….that really showed me how much difference this water and egg or apple has been making in my life. Everyone should be doing this!)
All of these things were easy changes to make, and therefore easy to sustain. My energy level is much higher than it used to be, and over all I feel better.
My next goal is to get a fi.tb.it of some kind (except, I am the cheapest.person.alive and they’re expensive!). I would love to see how many steps I am getting in, and how many I can increase it to if I could only swallow the price tag!
What small things do you do each day to improve your health? Any of the above? If you try one, I’d love to know how you make out! The last two have been game changers for me – and I totally recommend them to everyone now.