The trick to exercising is to make it a part of your lifestyle instead of just something you attempt to do a few times each week. This post is going to look at several things you can do to integrate exercise into your life. Do you have anything you do to help keep yourself active? Please share in the comments.
Put your exercise equipment in front of the TV.
Move out the sofa and chair and move in the exercise bike. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to exercise. This works particularly well if you are working your way through a set of cliffhanger-type TV shows on DVD. You still have to put effort into exercising. Just sitting on a piece of exercise equipment won’t help you, but creating an environment where you will sit on it for 40 minutes is a good start.
Ideally, I’d like to see exercise equipment that interfaces with your television. If you aren’t exerting yourself, the volume shuts down. If you don’t pick up the pace, it shuts itself off or switches to the country music channel or something.
Our television has two elliptical machines and a weight machine in front of it, but no couch and no chairs. I was showing our house to a relative and he asked, “so where do you sit when you watch TV?” I replied, “We don’t sit, we exercise.” “Yes, but what if you want to sit and watch TV?” “We don’t, we exercise.” He shook his head. He couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t sit in front of our television.
Park at the first parking lot space you find.
People will spend 15 minutes looking for a “great” parking space when the first one they come to is only a 2 minute walk from the store. You aren’t going to get in great shape by walking an extra minute or two in and out of the store, but every bit helps, and in this case, it can save you some significant time.
Take the stairs.
This is another habit that can be a time-saver in addition to keeping you active. Generally, if you are going less than 3 floors, the stairs are going to be at least as fast as the elevator. So, taking the stairs can save you time in addition to giving you some exercise. Even if you have to go more than 3 floors, the stairs can be a great way to build some exercise into your day without adding a significant time investment.
Walk to the store.
If there is a grocery store within a mile of your house, consider walking next time you need to go buy to get a loaf of bread or gallon of milk. Obviously, this isn’t a good way to get everything you need to completely stock your pantry, but for a few items, it makes for a nice little outing and doesn’t require that much time.
Walk and talk.
If you are going to visit with friends or family, try taking a walk instead of sitting around the table or on the couch. Most sidewalks will only accommodate two or three people where they can still talk to each other easier, but roadways in parks or walking trails are often considerably wider.
Craig Thomas says
Nice post. I’ve always recommended friends to do something similar to the ‘part in first spot’. Basically, park your car 5-10 mins from your house, ever morning and night you then gain and extra 10-20 min walking exercise. :)
I have a little 15 minute exercise routine that I do when I first get up in the morning. That way, even if my whole day ends up being sedentary, I’ve at least gotten those 15 minutes!
This says a great deal about the American sedentary lifestyle – the assumption that we’re telly heads and car users.
I agree – making exercise part of your lifestyle is important. How about buying (and using!) a bike?
Mark Shead says
“Telly Heads” sounds more British to me. :) A bike is a good idea if you live somewhere that is it usable for transportation. Many employers don’t have shower facilities so riding to work is out of the questions unless you are in a very cool non-humid climate or live very near work.
I think we are making progress in the US though. There was a new tax law passed that lets employers deduct the cost of reimbursing employees for a bike to ride to work. So maybe we are getting closer.
Yeah, the practicalities of cycling to work are a big ‘barrier to entry’.
Having spent time in the US, though, there are a lot of short (5 mile roundtrip) journeys that would be better – for time and health – using a bike rather than car.
And encouraging a culture of bike use is deffo the way forward. Imagine – UK and US rush hour being one of bikes, like in Asia!
Love the idea of putting only exercise equipment in front of the TV. We were thinking of buying some new couches for the TV room… but this sounds like an even better solution. Thanks!
Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com says
You can easily put exercise into your daily routine without calling it exercise with a simple few tweaks. Loved this. thanks!
J. Lynne says
Wow. This is so not new information. This is the same stuff I used to post on my diet blog 8 years ago. I guess there really is nothing new under the sun. Everything just gets recycled. Do people really not already know these basic, obvious tips?