Getting More Movement Into Your Day
Diet and exercise are important partners in achieving/maintaining a healthy weight. But how much exercise, and how intense? And how, as a busy mom, do you fit it in to your day?
While resources like gyms are great for slimming down and bulking up, they are also expensive and require time a solid block of time. These factors can be barriers for many people.
Your body doesn’t only burn calories and build muscle while you’re actively working out, however. Below are suggestions on how you can build activity into your day so that you can burn fat and build muscle even when you can’t make it to the gym.
Walking For Convenience
The ancient philosopher Hypocrites wrote that walking is the best medicine. The air was cleaner then, but getting out and about is still a great way to get rid of some extra calories.
Consider setting a minimum radius by block, or minimum travel time, for how far something needs to be for you to start the car. If it’s within, say, five blocks or 15 minutes, just walk. Blocks are a big unit of measurement, but if you do go to the store, consider parking further from the entrance. Every little bit makes a difference.
Walking during breaks at work can burn some calories, even if it’s just around the office. It can also be a great way to help your circulation and give your eyes a rest if you have a desk job. Getting up and moving every 30-45 minutes is not only good for your body but also for mental clarity and energy.
If you come to an elevator or escalator, see if there is an option to take the stairs. Or walk up the escalator!
Walking for Pleasure
Walking doesn’t only have to be something that you do when you need something. Consider taking a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to take a walk outside. It can be a great way to reset to either prepare you for the day ahead or wind down from a busy day.
Many resources recommend getting a dog to encourage weight loss. While it’s true that having a dog to walk can be great motivation, dogs also mean a huge commitment of time and energy. If getting a dog isn’t in the books right now, consider visiting the nearest animal shelter.
Many of these facilities will be more than happy to let you walk one of the dogs waiting to be adopted. As most of these facilities are under-funded, volunteers like you may be the only chance that the animals get to have their exercise too.
Biking Intermediate Distances
Getting a bicycle can be a great way to go intermediate distances, especially if you won’t need to carry anything back. In cities, bikes can be even faster than cars when you figure in traffic. They’re also cheaper to run. Different cities and towns have different rules on where you can ride a bike, however, so be sure to do some research before you take to the streets, bike lanes or sidewalks.
They can also be a great all-terrain vehicle, if you find one with different gears. This is handy for rural towns that may have a paved downtown with some more difficult streets and back roads. In cities, bikes without gears are often just as good.
Bikes can be fairly expensive when new, so if you’re low on funds, consider checking second-hand stores, yard sales, and the local newspaper for used bikes. Keep in mind too that they can help to save on gas and parking fees, so a well-used bike can pay itself off pretty quickly.
How will you incorporate more movement into your day?