Over the past few months I’ve talked with a lot of Foodies about fitting activity into their lives.
Now I know this is a food blog, but food and activity go together – especially in a healthy lifestyle. Calories are units of energy that fuel your body for the activity that you do. And the kind of fuel you use matters!
For many people I’ve spoken with, finding time among work schedules, kids schedules and other priorities is challenging. Believe me, I can relate. So here are five tips (other than the proverbial “park at the far end of the parking lot.”) you can do to get some activity in even on the tightest schedule.
While you’re watching Grey’s Anatomy…or (insert whatever show you like), you can easily get some activity in. I try never to watch television sitting down. Interestingly enough, this began during a season of The Biggest Loser when I challenged myself to do sets of squats, forward or backward lunges, crunches and planks throughout the show. At first I’d barely do two sets before just laying there and watching the show but by the end I was able to figure out a routine that took me all the way through. You can move a tv to where your treadmill, elliptical or other machine is and watch tv there. Distraction helps, people!
While your Healthy Choice meal is microwaving (Because enough of you tell me you eat those. I’m personally not a fan but that’s a whole other blog post.) Stand in front of the microwave and do 10 squats, 10 one-legged squats per leg, one set of backward lunges (if you have room) or the tree pose (if you don’t have room). Repeat this routine until your food is done.
While in the line at the supermarket. Stand on one leg for as long as you can and try to remain upright and steady. Alternate legs. No I’m not kidding! Creating imbalance helps build core strength which is essential to fitness. So if you’ve only got that time in line, stand on one leg – and read Life & Style magazine. See, now you’re multi-tasking. Go, you!
On your afternoon break. No lie, I did this my entire first year post-op. Do a stair challenge. I’d go to the basement of my building and time myself on how fast I could get to the roof (Six floor building, adjust your goal as appropriate!). My starting time was about 5 minutes. Now I can do it in less than two!
During the commercial break. Ok, so you want to sit and watch tv (with the fam, to yourself, whatever). Do commercial challenges. Because these are shorter spurts your focus is to go a bit more high impact. Do regular or modified jumping jacks (if you have problems with your joints) or run in place for the length of the commercial break. When it’s over, stop. Do this every commercial break and get the family involved too!
Just remember, the Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a day (not so winded you can’t breathe but not so casual that you can say long sentences). But notice nothing says you have to do it all at the same time. So stop stressing yourselves out! Ten minutes here, five minutes there and lookit, 30 minutes!
Be well, Foodies!