Let’s face it. Some days, we just don’t have time for that long workout with its combination of running the treadmill, weightlifting and lots of ab stretches. We’ve got Zoom meetings or appointments to make that we know will keep us preoccupied before crashing out in the evening.
Perhaps you’re getting over a cold. You’re energy is low and you need to watch yourself before diving back into the full-force fitness fray. Or you’re a stay-at-home parent who has a lot of housework to do that will inevitably take up a lot of hours straight.
So, where do you fit even a bit of a workout in?
First, workouts, particularly stretching, don’t always have to be long. Whether you’re working with Tyler Merren’s ReVision Fitness app for a quick succession of two-minute stretches or you like the Alexa seven minute jump start to get your blood pumping, these quick blitzes give you the needed umph that will send you into your day’s activities. Good stretches for this kind of quick action would be jogging in place, high leg kicks, jumping jacks, and even some neck rolls or trunk rotations.
Another solution for fitting in some extra fitness on the go is to forget the efficiency route when folding laundry. Say you’ve got a bunch of towels to fold and put in the linen closet. Rather than taking one or two stacks, perhaps, break that down into four or five. That way, you traverse the path between your kitchen table, ironing board or bed to the closet a few more times than necessary.
If you can add steps to your walk around the house or from your workplace’s front door to your office, max that out as much as possible. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Of course, don’t be late for clocking in or when needing to attend that all-important meeting. Many people these days measure the amount of steps they take throughout the day or number of feet they travel with a pedometer. Many of these little devices will give you notice of how many calories you’ve burned.
Perhaps, you’ve also developed your own ways of adding exercise on the fly. I’ve heard of folks doing a few toe-touches or squats while waiting for the water to boil before cooking up an evening stew. If you’re bending down to pick something off the floor or to put dishes away in a lower cabinet, keep your body position such that your spine stays straight and you primarily use your hip and knee muscles without slouching. Even in these basic activities, good body position will help you breathe easier. You will be able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time since you won’t necessarily need to stop for elongated rest periods.
What’s the benefit of this everyday fitness-on-the-go? Combined with regular workouts, you will build up stamina and endurance. I remember that for years I considered cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes, and folding laundry to be boring activities that could take up most of the afternoon. But with better stamina and focus, I’ve developed a bounce to my step and eagerness to complete the tasks that otherwise might bog me down. I have energy to sing during these times or listen to some program on TuneIn.
All said, a lifestyle that incorporates fitness into our everyday activities will improve our health, brighten our eagerness, and give us that extra boost to take on the tasks at hand.