Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alternatives to "Regular" Exercise

Happy Saturday, everyone!!  What a beautiful day it is here in NW Arkansas.  The temperature is currently 78 degrees, the sun is shining, and I got to sleep in this morning until 9:30....all great things to start off the day. Thankfully, this morning, my stress level is down to "stress? What's that?" normal range.  I received a phone call last night after writing my blog that really helped clear out the last few stress bunnies that were cluttering my mind - and now I'm ready for a FANTABULOUS weekend. 

Today, I'm going to discuss alternatives to regular exercise.  When I say "regular" exercise - I mean exercise that is planned.  You either go to a gym, you pop in a work-out DVD, you run/walk at a track, or you get on a treadmill.  Basically, anything that pops into your head when you think of the word "exercise".  What a lot of people don't realize, however, is that there are so many things you can do to exercise and burn calories without even realizing it.  **GASP** There are ways I can exercise without having to change into my work-out clothes?  Yep and today we're going to talk about it.

So, you've been feeling kind of guilty that you haven't been doing your regular work-outs, like I have.  You think, I'm going to spend all weekend working out and making up for lost time.  Then Saturday comes and you wake up and think - ugh, I really want to enjoy the weekend, but how can I do that if I'm going to be working out and/ or going to the gym so much?  Luckily, there are things you can do that still allows you to be productive throughout your weekend, burn calories...and for some people, actually enjoy it.  The funny thing is, the "exercises" I'm going to share with you are no secret.  For some people, they may be things you do quite often.  I've also mentioned them in other blog posts - but today they get their own spotlight.  So, what can you do to work-out, burn calories, and not even realize you're exercising?  Here ya go:

Deep clean your house:  Not the most fun of activities, but vigorous cleaning (scrubbing floors, vacuuming, moving furniture, etc.) burns a lot more calories that you realize.  If you're like me, I can spend a Saturday afternoon "deep" cleaning my house - and by the time I'm done, I'm just as sweaty as I am after running for an hour on the treadmill.  To really kick it up a notch - don't use a mop to wash your floors...get down on those hands and knees!!  Don't vacuum around your furniture - move that stuff and get under it!!  Want to really get the most out of your cleaning?  Grab a rag and wash the walls and windows (if you have washable paint/ wallpaper, that is....I except no liability for ruining anything in your house)!!

Go to the park with your kids -and PLAY with them:  Driving your kids to the park and then sitting on a bench watching them play does NOT count!!  This activity is probably the most fun of them all, and yet so many people miss a golden opportunity to get a great work-out in and enjoy precious time with their kids.  Take your kids to the park and play freeze tag, soccer, hide and seek (and you actually climb on the equipment).  If you have itty bitty ones - then grab the stroller and find a park that has a nice lake or pond to walk around.  You can let your little one feed the ducks and you can walk around looking at the beauty of nature around you.  Don't short change yourself, though, try to pick up the pace on the walk - you can have fun, but make the most out of those calories you can burn.

De-Clutter that room/ storage building that's been on your list for months (or even years):   So many people have that spare room, storage building, garage, or corners of their house that when you think about them make you say "ugh".  You've been determined to get rid of some of the clutter - but just haven't found time to get to it.  Well, MAKE TIME!! Think about how many calories you could be burning lifting all of those boxes out of that room, cleaning that room, and then hauling all of those boxes back (cause how many of us really get rid of all that stuff?)  It may sound like the most un-fun thing ever - and you'd probably much rather spend 8 hours in a gym - but you'd be amazed at some of the treasures you find when cleaning out a room that you haven't seen in years.  So many people I know, myself included, have cleaned out areas and have discovered childhood memories, trinkets, and things that they've been looking for for years in those places.  Just think about what you might discover - and you'll finally get that room cleaned out.

Take the family for a walk around a local farmer's market:  In my opinion any kind of walking is exercise.  Even though most people slowly stroll around the vendors' tents at farmer's markets - you can actually kill two birds with one stone on this one.  Not only do you get out of the house and do some nice walking, but you can also find some great local produce and items to take home with you. 

Bowling, roller-skating, ice-skating, swimming:  These should all have their own category, but being that my post is getting on the "long" side, I thought it best to group them together.  These are great Friday or Saturday night activities that guarantee fun, and the burning of calories.  The park rule applies here also - it doesn't count if you're watching your kids have the fun (or friends - doesn't have to be a kid activity) .  Get yourself out there and take some risks.  So, you can't skate?  Oh well - falling and picking yourself up, and slowly crawling around the rink can burn calories just as well as skating at full speed.  If you choose bowling, try to pick a ball that is a little heavy for you.  OK, so you might not get as many strikes - but your arms and other body parts will love the extra work of lifting that heavier ball.  Getting a little on the cool side for swimming?  Then look for an indoor pool - there are plenty of them around.  All of these activities are so much fun, pretty reasonable in the cost department, and best of all: will burn tons of calories!

There you have just a few examples of how you can spend your weekends.  You can still get in a great work-out, spend time with your family, and have fun.  No more worrying about finding the time (or motivation) to go to the gym, the track, or to your treadmill.  Just fill your weekend up with a mixture of all of these things - and you've had one very productive weekend.  Maybe Saturday you start off at the farmer's market, you then take the kids to the park for a while, and you end the day with some roller skating or've just burned off a TON of calories spending the whole day just having fun.  Sunday, you decide to stay home and clean out the room and (if you have time) do a good deep cleaning of the rest of the house - my goodness...your entire weekend you've burned off thousands of calories!!!

So, there you have it.  You don't have to give up your weekends working out the "regular" way.  You can still make up for the missed work-outs throughout the week, and put in a lot of extra exercise....but in a much more enjoyable way.  Happy weekend!!!

Till next time.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions! I'm a fan of the deep cleaning, myself, LOL. Also, we like to walk around wal-mart - not to buy anything but just to walk and look. It's been so hot here that we haven't been able to go to the park, but when it cools off, DH and I have plans to do just that!


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