Physical fitness and exercise are both crucial for a long and healthy life. The benefits of being fit include not only a healthier heart and body, but also a healthier outlook. As important as it is though, exercise can be tough to get into. Many people start off on a program that is much too hard for them and give up after a few days, while others simply can never find the time.
While traditional exercise might not be the best option for you, exercise can truly be anything you make it--and can be done anywhere, any time. Here are some ways to sneak in fitness without breaking too much of a sweat.
1. Walk anywhere and everywhere.
Walking is one exercise that everyone can do, regardless of age or physical fitness. Think of all the things you do to save yourself a few steps--and stop doing them. For example, choose the farthest parking spot away from your destination instead of parking up front. Take your dog for a walk every morning and evening instead of just letting him out in the backyard. Instead of reading emails on your lunch break, get up and grab some friends for a walk around the block.
2. Take your kids to the park.
Since kids usually love playing outdoors, you'll get the chance for some quality time together as well as the opportunity for plenty of exercise. Play catch or fly a kite with your kids. Have a hula-hooping or jump roping contest. Do push-ups and tricep dips on a park bench while they're playing.
3. Take those stairs.
Taking the stairs may be one of the most common ways to squeeze in fitness that really works. It gets your heart rate up while it tones your legs and your bottom. Do yourself and the environment a favour: ditch the elevator and climb your way to a better body.
4. Work your muscles while you stand.
One easy way to tone your calves and legs is by doing calf raises. Since this move simply requires you to raise yourself onto your tiptoes, it can be done anywhere you can stand: while you're waiting to cross the street, cooking dinner, or washing your hands. For added resistance, do it while you're in line with a bagful of groceries.
5. Start a garden.
Gardening involves repetitive bending, squatting, and pulling--hard work and good toning motions for your body. The upkeep required can serve as regular gym time. You'll get the added benefit of vitamin D from the sun, and can enjoy the nutritious bounty of all your labors. What gym membership offers those perks?
6. Wash your car yourself.
Make washing your car at home a regular habit. It will save you money and get you on your feet and moving. Add window treatments and rim scrubbing to the task and you'll get a decent workout and a sparkling car. Talk about results you can see!
Exercise doesn't have to be something you dread or spend hours doing. Work it into your everyday routine and you won't even notice you're doing it--until you start to feel the difference.