A walk on the beach doesn’t sound like exercise, does it? That’s the message of this post on learning how to fit exercise into your daily routine. Exercise doesn’t have to be formal to be effective.
As an example, recently while on vacation, my “exercise” for the day was, as the title of this post suggests, a walk on the beach. It doubled as my good deed for the day, as I picked up some litter 🙂
My pleasant stroll is a good example of how to fit exercise into your daily routine, no matter where you are. We tend to think of exercise as structured and as an activity separate from our regular activities, requiring special clothes and a shower afterwards. 🙂
However, in truth, exercise need not always be organized . It doesn’t even need to be intense or drawn out. Exercise can be fun –like my walk on the beach. Or even NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). 🙂
Of course, NEAT even says in the name, “non-exercise, ” but in my opinion it counts! In simpler times, no one exercised as a planned activity, but rather they were NEAT enough that they had no need for a formalized program. 😉
You’re so NEAT
Anyway, I think I mention NEAT somewhere in the Fit For Life section of this site…I don’t know for sure. Regardless, it’s certainly worth looking into as a way to improve you overall health and fitness.
This article, 10 Ways to Increase Your Neat, discusses the idea much more fully. They share so many ways and ideas on how to fit exercise into your daily routine.
See what I mean here:
Here are 10 examples of NEAT to help you lose weight:
WALKING: Walking is an easy activity nearly every one of us can accomplish. All we have to do is increase the number of steps we walk everyday and over time the extra energy used comes from our stores fat. It is also fairly simple to increase the number of steps you walk throughout the day. You can park your car down the street from your house. You can park at the farthest spot when shopping. You can go for an easy morning walk while you sip your morning cup of Joe. All the steps will add up over time.
COOKING: Most of us cook at least one meal throughout the day. During this time you can add in some simple movements. When I cook, I like to squat deep when I grab a pan out of the cabinet. When I’m reaching for the spices on the shelf I throw in a push-up. When I’m waiting for the vegetables to steam I simply bounce or fidget in place while reading or going on social media. The point is while I’m coming I am not standing still. For those times I’m eating out, I will fidget in line by bouncing on one foot for a bit then switch it up. Sometimes I’ll squat while waiting for my coffee. Again, the point is I keep moving.
TELEVISION: I watch TV. I would even be lying to you if I said I hardly watch TV. I would be lying to you if I said I sit or lay down and watch TV. When watching my programs or sports on TV I am stretching. I lay down and stretch out my muscles. I’ll use the couch as a steady surface to stretch my back out, my shoulders out, my legs out. I never just sit down and watch TV. I stretch and stay active and honestly it is one of the best habits I have created. It has helped me stay loose and I no longer feel guilty about watching TV. It is a win win.
Morning Routine: Everyone has a morning routine that they go through during their work week. This is an easy time to add some extra movement to your day. The moment you get out of bed, do some push-ups. You do not even have to define a specific amount. Just drop down and give me however many you feel like. When you go to start the coffee pot, I want you to give me some jumping jacks. The moment you go and brush your teeth, give me some squats before you start or maybe even while you are brushing your teeth if you feel like really multitasking. Going out to get the morning paper, I want a burpee when you get to that paper. Just add in some simple movements or tasks that are associated with every stop along your morning routine.
Evening Routine: Same concept of your morning routine except I want you to do more stretching and more of a yoga pose idea with it. When you are going around the house shutting off the lights, take a deep breath and reach up and then down towards your toes. Locking the doors, I want a nice deep lunge stretch to help loosen up those hip flexors. Do simple more relaxing movements. Not only will these little movements help burn those extra calories, they are going to help mentally and physically relax you before you sleep.
Your Car: Most people are getting in and out of their car at least once a day. Every time you are getting into your car, add some movement. You can do jumping jacks, lunges, squats, some hip hinges, do something. I have known people where they will do as many reps of squats for each minute they expect to be driving. If they were going on a long road trip, they would break up those squats during the rest breaks. This is a very simple way to add in those extra calories burned. Personally I like to try getting into and out of my car without using my hands. Some days I will try to mix up only using one foot or the other with no hands trying to carefully slid out of the car.
Ditch the Car: If you do not have a crazy commute to work or when running errands or even going out to eat ditch the car for the evening. Many people forget that they can walk places and it will in fact not take long at all. The walk will make you feel good, burn calories, and will help out our environment. Personally I try to ride my bike to work as often as I can. I know others who go and walk to the grocery store when buying only a handful of items. I know of others who take an uber to work in the morning and walk the distance home. The point is at least once a week ditch the car and ride your bike, walk, skate, or even run somewhere you need to go.
Work: Do not just sit there. If you have a job where you end up sitting down for an extended period of time you are doing harm to yourself. Luckily you can save yourself. Every 5 minutes you sound get up and stand up and squat down and then sit right back down. Anytime you have a break in your workflow, do a little twist in the chair stretching your back out. If you are stuck there reading your emails, add some arm circles in. You won’t even have to get out of your chair for those arm circles. All the little movements add up. So please, do it for yourself and do not just sit there.
You & Your Significant Other: You don’t have to be married to have a significant other. Exercising with a bestie, a girlfriend or boyfriend or even a pet is a great way to spend time and feel great. Who does not like a long romantic walk down the beach in the sand? Who would not want to go walk or a hike and enjoy nature? Go and chase your dog on all four and be a dog for fifteen minutes. They will enjoy it and so will you. The point is get moving with the your better half and you will be better for it. It will definitely bring the two of you closer as well.
Clean Everything: Cleaning is a very efficient way to multitask. You are getting those extra calories burned while cleaning whatever you wanted clean anyways. The fun part is make a game out of the cleaning. When I wash my car I see absolutely how fast I can get my car washed and clean. When I begin to vacuum I try to do everything while balancing on one leg or the other. When I sweep my house, I grip the broomstick like I am trying to break it. The point is make it fun to clean and make it a good challenge. I put my laundry basket away from the washer and take jump shots with all my clothes into the washer. This is my favorite one and I highly recommend it if you have a top loader.
Check out the full article–good stuff 🙂 I hope you adopt some of the ideas shared about how to fit exercise into your daily routine. Your body will thank you! 🙂
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