Many of us are so conditioned into thinking that exercise means going to the gym that we forget that everyday life presents us with numerous opportunities to get active during the day. If you have time to go to the gym, that’s fantastic. But if you don’t, do not despair. You can create more movement opportunities during your day that make a difference. Look for every opportunity to be active.
Here are some examples of lifestyle activity:
Walk to run an errand in the neighborhood, rather than taking a car.
Play outdoor games with children instead of watching television together.
Park farther away from the shop.
Get off the train or bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
Carry your groceries to your car or load them into your car yourself.
Wash your car instead of taking it to the car wash.
Rake leaves instead of using a leaf blower.
Get up to switch appliances on or off instead of always using remote control.
Ride a bicycle for transportation instead of driving a car.
Do some vigorous house cleaning, such as vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping.
Be creative. Find more and more ways that you can move during your day. These activities all add up and make a difference. For example, according to estimates for a ISO-pound person, standing up for three ten-minute phone calls will burn twenty calories. In contrast, sitting for thirty minutes during those three phone calls burns only four calories. Simply by standing for those brief intervals, you have created a sixteencalorie deficit. While sixteen calories may not seem like much, when it is repeated hour after hour, day after day, it and other small actions start to mean the difference between unwanted pounds and maintaining your ideal weight. If you added walking or pacing to your phone calls, it would even provide greater benefits.
You may recall that after you eat during the day, your blood is filled with sugars and fats, blood glucose and triglycerides. These are sources of fuel that you can use immediately. However, if you are not active and do not use up this energy, it ends up ultimately stored as fat. One of the keys to keeping all systems healthy is to use up this fuel for its intended purpose and stimulate your heart, lungs, muscles, skeletal, and nervous systems.