Last blog post we talked about the Circle of Life, an exercise to identify which areas of your life you are finding satisfying, and which less so.
If you’ve not yet completed the exercise, take a few minutes to do so now.
How was your satisfaction score for physical activity?
… 10 … love it, I move my body regularly and reap all the benefits for physical and emotional health
… 5 … fit it in when I can, don’t really like exercise (or love it but don’t prioritise it)
… 2 … I dislike exercise and it dislikes me
Why Move Your Body?
If there’s room for improvement with your physical activity satisfaction score, these following ideas might help you find a physical activity you love to do, and I can promise you, your body will love you back. Perhaps not initially if it’s been a while, but within a few days you’ll be benefiting by:
- feeling more energetic, more positive, more relaxed
- getting better quality sleep
- regulating blood pressure
- regulating blood cholesterol
- regulating weight
- reducing risk of heart attack
- reducing risk of type 2 diabetes
- strengthening bones, joints and muscles
- reducing risk of osteoperosis
If you are pregnant; have a heart condition or at risk of; suffer dizziness, breathlessness or chest pains; or have been inactive for some years, you may wish to see a medical practitioner before diving into exercise. But don’t let that put you off altogether!
Many Ways to Move Your Body, Every Day, Almost Anywhere
If you are jogging, going to the gym, taking zumba classes, enjoying yoga, taking long walks, or any of the myriad other ‘obvious’ ways to move your body, that’s awesome, keep at it!
The following are ways to move your body in smaller pockets of your day, such as while the kettle is boiling. In addition to the aqua fitness class and the
- Park further away from work or school
- Take the stairs not the lift
- Ride or walk to nearby errands rather than taking the car
- Clean the house with energy and speed
- Get into the garden to weed, dig, rake, plant and pick
- Set your computer to remind you to get up and move once an hour
- If watching webinars or videos on your computer, stand up and stretch, or do slow squats
- Stand on tiptoes when waiting in a queue
- Hold a plank position during TV commercials, where you hold a straight position with only elbows or hands, and feet or knees, on the floor
- Dance around the kitchen between fridge, bench and oven while preparing dinner
- Surprise your kids, partner or friends by putting some music on and inviting them to dance
- Do push-ups until the kettle boils for your daily cup of tea or coffee
- Spice up your walk with a few short sprints
- Fly a kite
- Chase your dogs or kids around the yard
- Do pelvic floor exercises while waiting at the traffic lights
- Do 20 star jumps on the hour every hour
- Do 10 squats before your shower each day
- Have more intimacy if in a relationship, or if not
- Write a to z with your toes while seated
- Drink more water while at your desk, to ensure more trips to the bathroom
- Plan a walk date rather than a coffee and cake date
- Play target Frisbee, solo or with others
- Offer to take a neighbour’s dog for a walk
- Use a hand fan rather than electric
- Skip using a rope for 5 minutes
- Dance around the lounge room a-la Tom Cruise in Risky Business
- Run in the water, at pool or beach – laugh at all passer-by comments
- Bounce on a trampoline
- Wash and polish your car by hand
- Make an enormous sandcastle with any child who wants to join you
- Find a park with exercise stations
- Do yoga sun salutations on rising
- Crawl or crab walk next time you change rooms
- While standing in the checkout queue with your shopping basket, use both hands to lift between waist and chest height
There are oodles more, share those that come to mind below!
In a nutshell, keep variety in your exercise and aim to incorporate more movement into every day. Do a mix of long low-impact activity (such as walking or cycling) for endurance and emotional health; bodyweight exercises (such as squats, lunges, push ups and pull ups) for strength and fat-burning; and fast/intense workouts (such as running or swimming sprints) for agility and speed. Plus some or all of the above bonus ideas.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this earlier post:
In health & happiness