Got asked this question last week by a client who wanted to know:
“I wish I could go to the gym but I find it hard to find the time!
Are there things we can do everyday (without going to the gym), that count as good exercise?
I don’t always want to go to the gym, and the thought of going for a run doesn’t appeal to me!”
In an ideal world, most of us would like to hit the gym and and fit in some form of exercise daily.
But sometimes, life gets the best of us, and we are too busy and swamped with things to do to actually make it to the gym and get a workout in.
Not only that – but the gym and going for a run or cycle outdoors don’t always sound so appealing!
For years people have assumed you needed to break a sweat, or at least raise your heart rate for a prolonged period of time for an activity to count towards exercise.
But that isn’t the case!
It’s been proven that short bursts of higher intensity exercise are really beneficial for our health when we’re strapped for time…
Of course we all know that running on the treadmill gets our heart rate up and that doing pilates can help build our core, but what most people don’t realise is that there are plenty of opportunities during your day to sneak exercise into your routine while also crossing things off your to-do list.
It’s a win-win!
Not every workout has to include a 6 mile run or an intense workout session in the gym.
So if you find yourself struggling to get a daily workout in – here’s some everyday activities that you can count as a exercise and not feel strapped for time…
Ok, this one might sound obvious – and it is! But walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise.
Walking at a good pace is still a cardiovascular output so you don’t need to be running outside or on a treadmill.
At some point everyday, you will be walking, so try to add some more time and distance while you’re doing it.
Even just walking for 20 minutes a day can count towards daily exercise.
And if you find it ‘boring’ – why not walk with friends, listen to your favourite music, or pick a destination you want to walk to and enjoy a tea or coffee when you get there?
Knowing I have an extra hot latte waiting for me at the end of my walk makes it that much better!
Taking The Stairs
Again, another one I’m sure you’ve heard before – but the stairs are one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your day.
Everyone knows how tough the stairs are – that’s why we invented lifts and escalators.
But walking up the stairs is great! You have to use your body weight to make your way up them, and you engage all of the muscles in your legs while using the stairs too.
So next time you have the option between taking the lift or the stairs – stop, think about it, and take the stairs instead.
I can assure you, you’ll begin to feel more energetic, boost your immune system, and even lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Have you ever noticed after scrubbing a floor or cleaning the bathroom that you find yourself feeling tired and a bit hot?
That’s because cleaning the house, believe it or not, is actually a good workout and can be a decent calories burn, especially if it’s a household chore where you’re constantly engaged.
Things like cleaning windows, cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen head to toe and running the vacuum around will keep your heart rate up.
So now there’s a reason to do the housework more often 😉
My Mams favourite thing to do!
Whether you’re buying the weekly food shop, or hunting down the perfect new pair of shoes, shopping means walking, and walking burns calories – up to 200 per hour if you’re walking at a good pace.
Take the stairs instead of the escalator, park your car further away so you can get more steps in, take the longer route round the shops – there’s plenty of easy and realistic ways to get a good workout in from going to the shops.
Weeding, watering, carrying heavy bags of soil, cutting the lawn, planting pots… Will definitely get a good burn on and engage a lot of the muscles in your body.
Not just that, but getting outside to take care of the garden means you get out in the fresh air and exposed to plenty of sunlight – and we’ve all heard how good vitamin D is for you.
So next time you have a sunny day, take advantage of it and get moving in the garden – it’s even classed a a moderate to high intensity exercise!
The more activities you can fit in the day, the more physically active you are, so use that as an excuse to get all your errands done. It may make doing them more ‘enjoyable’ – if that’s possible 😉
Do you have a bad back right now, or know someone who does? Here’s a free special report with 9 top tips to keep active with less back pain, just go to this website to get your free copy: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain