Fun Ways to Exercise So It Doesn’t Feel Like Working Out
Working out doesn’t always require a trip to the gym. You may not notice, but an incredible gym exists all around you and it has nearly everything you need to maintain overall health and wellness!
If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It
If you’ve ever watched astronauts after returning from space, you know the importance of weight bearing activities (gravity vs. bodyweight). After just a week in space, astronauts lose a significant percentage of muscle mass and bone density. You can observe similar results after being stuck to the sofa while catching up on your favorite series! So, take full advantage of your daily activities and provide muscles, bones and other tissues the stimulation needed to stay healthy and mobile.
Read on for everyday activities that can easily become part of an everyday exercise routine. These are just a few of the possibilities, so be creative and remember to use good mechanics. (For example, if you step and reach down toward the floor, your back should remain in a neutral zone while the hip and legs provide the motion.)
Fun ways to exercise
– Stair climbing: an excellent exercise to keep the lower body conditioned and mobile. Try skipping a step to increase the challenge and your strength. As you step up, make sure to keep your knee directly over your foot rather than allowing the knee to dive inward. Count how many times you go up and make it a goal to beat your number the next time!
– Jump rope: No need for an actual rope here. Simply hopping up and down and going through the motion provides a great source of stimulation to the bones, joints and muscles.
– Playing with kids is a fun way to get exercise, also. Get down on all fours and play at their level. Moving around in this position provides weight bearing to the shoulders and hips while simultaneously challenging core stability.
Productive ways to exercise
– Vacuum the house is great overall stability and endurance for the shoulders, core and hips. Try changing hands after one minute to keep the loading even on both sides. Also, keep a good grip on the handle to help stabilize the shoulder and feel free to pick up the tempo!
– Speed cleaning: Set a timer for five minutes and tidy up an area of the house at a moderate speed. Alternate hands as you reach and try stepping forward with your non-dominant leg during the race. Be mindful during the movement by using your hips more than your back as you bend and reach in multiple directions. For added core stability, try pulling your belly-button inward with no more than 20% effort throughout the routine!
– Shoveling the driveway is great way to challenge overall strength and endurance, but be mindful of your breathing and your heart rate. The cold temperatures, excessive clothing, and unfamiliar demand on the body are also responsible for visits to the emergency room. Start slow, take breaks and enjoy the great outdoors!
– Wash the car: Remember Mr. Miagi, “wax-on, wax-off”? Save a few bucks and reap the health benefits with a good old-fashioned car wash. Switch hands after each minute and use your hips to bend, rather than your back. Feel free to add backlighting and spray for improved visual effect!
Add a Balance Component
Spruce up your stationary activities with a balance challenge. The next time you’re brushing teeth, folding laundry or just waiting for water to boil, try standing on one leg with minimal spine movement. Not enough? Balance on one foot, then reach with your other foot in multiple directions. As you reach, the grounded hip, knee and ankle should bend but remain in alignment.
Always work within your personal abilities and start each activity slowly and mindfully to reinforce good mechanics. Within a few days you may begin to notice ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities.
Have Fun – Stay Functional!