It snowed today! For as much as I complain about the winter there is just something fun about snow. It’s white, fluffy and I get to take frustration out on the husband in the form of a snowball fight. :~P
While I was out shoveling the driveway I was thinking of all the things I do to increase my activity level. Some of these are rules I’ve made for myself and some are goofy things I do around the house. When I started Weight Watchers these were my main sources of exercise, remember back then I wasn’t the gym rat I am now.
- Snow shoveling – I guess I should start with what inspired the post. I ALWAYS go out and shovel the driveway after a snowstorm. I don’t even care if the husband helps (although I’m happy to say he normally does.) Here’s my logic, it has to get done anyway, it’s a GREAT workout, and I have a reason to go outside for some sun on a cold day without being cold. I know that sounds crazy but it’s true! Shoveling snow keeps you warm on a cold day! Oh and nothing beats coming in for some hot cocoa!
- Counter Push-ups – I LOVE popcorn, ok so your thinking what the heck does that have to do with counter push-ups and, wait, what’s a counter push-up anyway?? Well, in my microwave, popcorn takes 2 minutes to cook. Instead of going back into the living room to wait, I hold onto the edge of the counter, step back and do push-ups. The further away from the counter, the more intense the push-up. Just try to do those continuously for 2 minutes. They get TOUGH!
- Squats and knee lifts – Everyone knows how to do a squat and a knee lift right? Well why not do a few while you are brushing your teeth? What else are you doing besides standing there and looking in the mirror for 2 minutes? Might as well burn some calories! And if you’re curious I do do these all the time, just not when the husband is in there with me, he already thinks I’m a big dork.
- Five Story Rule – I can’t remember if I told you this one yet. I made a personal rule about 3 years ago to ALWAYS take the stairs if I have to go up or down 5 stories or less. I will seek out a stairway while carring my luggage if I have to. I’m always shocked at how many people take elevators when they are going up one flight. On campus I see college kids go out of their way to hop on the elevator in a 3 story building! Come on people!
- Dance cleaning – I know you ALL know my obsession with the house dancing. But seriously what’s more fun than dancing?!? You pick the music, you create the moves, just do IT! Get those arms up, those legs up and SING! It’s your house, who you trying to impress? And if you have a toddler even better! Pick him up, swing him around and dance while you are carrying him. I used to strap ‘the baby’ on my back, vacuum and run around the house like the dancing queen.
- Basket shopping – Does anyone use the basket at the grocery story anymore? If I’m alone and not doing a big shopping I always grab a basket instead of a cart, even if I know I need milk! The funny thing is usually by the end of the trip I have too much for the basket and I’m struggling to get to the counter. I probably look like an idiot, but I burn way more calories carrying all the extra weight than I do pushing it around.
- Family walks – When the weather is nice the three of use try to go for an after-dinner walk every day. It’s get’s us out of the house and away from the TV, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. Plus you get great family time!
- Parking far away – I know, it’s so cliché, but seriously think about it. How many more steps can you get in just by parking further from the entrance of a store. Plus think of how much time you’ll save not driving around looking for a close spot! You do it, don’t you? Even though there are perfectly good spots ‘too far away’.
- Get an exercise ball – These things are fabulous. I sit on it and balance while watching TV. I do crunches on it during commercials. I even let the toddler play with it and he balances whiles holding my hands (we take turns). It’s just a fun thing to have around and it get’s you off the couch while watching TV.
- Lunch walks – If you are lucky enough to have a lunch break at work, take it and walk around your building a few times, or in my case the campus. I love when I get a co-worker to go with me and we get to chat. Nothing beats getting out of the office during a long workday.
So there you have it, 10 stay active tips. Remember you have to start somewhere and every little bit helps!