Many people dream about becoming fit and healthy without grueling exercise. Or you think of every excuse possible to avoid going to a gym or even exercising at home with a DVD or equipment. The expense! The hassle! The truth is that you will not maintain any weight loss or state of health without regular physical exercise. You must keep moving. The good news is there are many ways to achieve increased movement and exercise that can be creative, fun, and free.
1. Park as far as you can from the door or store. Park on the furthest end of the mall from your destination. Add steps to your day whenever possible. Every one helps.
2. Never take an elevator when you can take the stairs. You don’t need an expensive stair climber apparatus. Climbing stairs helps with aerobic conditioning as well as muscle building. Don’t take them too quickly at first and don’t do more than one flight at the beginning. Increase your tolerance gradually
3. Stop using your remote controls. Get up and change the channel or volume control yourself.
4. Stop using an intercom at work. Get up and communicate face to face. Get out of your chair at least every hour and walk around. If you can’t at least take a stretch break.
5. Walk instead of standing and stand instead of sitting to burn more calories.
6. Use every commercial break when watching television to stretch, do a few sit-ups or touch your toes. Never sit still to watch a commercial.
7. Instead of passively standing in line at the bank or grocery do isometrics. Without holding your breath just tighten your abdominal (stomach) muscles for a count of five or ten then relax. Do this many times and soon you will be on your way to a tighter tummy.
8. Purchase a pedometer if you can to count your steps. Try to set a long-term goal of 10,000 steps a day. The average person’s stride length is 2.5 feet. A bit over 2000 steps would be a mile and 10000 steps is 5 miles. At first try to increase the number of steps you take by 500 a day each week. Wear the pedometer a week to see how many steps you take a day. Most sedentary people only get 1000 to 3000 a day. How many steps do you take in a day?
9. A pint weighs a pound which makes a gallon of milk weigh around 8.6 pounds. Do some weight lifting in the kitchen by doing a few curls in the morning while getting your breakfast. You don’t need expensive weights. Be creative.
10. If you are able leave the laundry basket on the floor and do some deep knee bends while folding the wash. Do lunges while sweeping or mopping. Hover just above your chair for a moment and feel your thigh muscles engage before sitting down to a meal.
Exercise and physical activity doesn’t require an expensive gym or equipment. Be creative and you can be on your way to a fitter, healthier you for 2012. Happy New You!
Dr. Kenneth Luckay DO is the Medical Director at the Center for Medical Weight Loss located at 4515 Brambleton Ave in Roanoke. He can be reached at 398-1547 or Email: [email protected]