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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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’.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!


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  • Ashley

    I love your tips! I’ll have to try exercising while brushing my teeth, though.

    Another “special” tip that works for me– when sitting (such as in an office chair), balance your legs up off the ground maybe 6inches. The stability can really work your muscles!

  • Yin Teing

    Yes, me too- I enjoy balancing on the exercise ball. It’s fun. Great tips :)

  • MMalloy

    Great reminders! When I lived alone I had 4 exercise balls as my furniture. I am now trying to convince my boss to let us use them at the office!

  • Anonymous

    I was using my heartrate monitor while dancing around the house, its shocking how many calories you can burn. It said 350 in 18 min!
    I love the stability ball! Mine doubles as our computer chair. The Core Secrets videos are great with the stability balls for an at home workout.

  • Caroline

    I love your tips! I do some of them – the parking far away for example – but I do love the counter pushups especially! And I think you were watching me when you saw me going waaaaaaayyyyy out of my way to find an elevator. The thing is, I hate doing that because it makes me feel like a fat person! So maybe I’ll give that one a shot, as well. I might be cursing your name while I do it though!

  • Tina

    I love the tips too! Never thought of exercising while I was waiting for my popcorn! :)) I’ve gotta remember to park faaaar away when I hit Target…

    Thanks Roni!

  • casmommy

    Great tips! When I am trapped at home in the snow I do Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds Series. The Walk and Jog is esp. fun and you might like it if you enjoy dancing around the house :)

  • Jessica

    Great tips! I’m a firm believer in taking the stairs, parking far away, and taking walks during breaks. If I park on the far end of the parking garage, it takes me about five minutes of walking (with going up and down stairs) to get to my desk. For a little extra, I can even move a little quicker on the stairs. Even if I don’t make it to the gym or have any time for myself at home, I know that I did something.

    As for the exercise ball … My parents have one at their house, and I always laugh when I see it. When I was in labor with my son, the nurses encouraged me to sit on it, especially during a contraction, so it would help move things along.

  • Lily T

    I also like to take the stairs wherever I can, but if there are too many stories I opt for the elevator. Your 5-story rule sounds interesting.

    I’ve also done the walk after dinner, and it was great. Wish I can do it again, but it never feels like there’s enough time during the evening.

    I also like to take a walk during break and or lunch. A lot of times I just need to walk away from the work environment. Helps clear my head.

    I’ve never been into parking far, ever since a speeding car at a parking lot almost ran over my son and myself (while I was pregnant).

  • Anonymous

    GREAT TIPS !!!!!!

  • Meighan

    Hi Roni
    I am a lurker but check your blog daily. You are great and realisitc and that has helped me be alot less obsessive and restrictive and hard on myself. We both share a love of swedish fish so I thought of you when i read this!
    http://www.hungry-girl.com/girls/biteoutdetails.php?isid=1312

  • Krista

    Roni: We have so much snow where I am in Southwest Colorado that I am having a hard time being positive. Great idea about the exercise ball. Maybe I should invest in one. Keep posting, you are an inspiration.

  • fromthebedside

    Excellent post! Now, can you kick my husband out so I can dance w/ out an audience? I’ve tried doing squats like brushing my teeth. I apparently can’t do two things at once because I end up doing squats and not brushing my teeth.

  • workout mommy

    I love the squats and knee lifts idea for when I am brushing my teeth!! Thanks!

  • Anar

    Great tips! I have started something…when I take a break at work instead of briwsong internet I actually get up and walk around…get some tea, go to bathroom, just walk to the end of the hallway. It helps me move and it becomes a *real* mental break.

  • starrygirl

    Thanks to you I parked in the back of the Target lot today. It was a snowy mess and people were looking at me quite oddly as I ran from the furthest spot in the lot!! Little did they know I was obviously getting in some exercise.

  • Julie

    Hi Roni! As someone said earlier, I have been a lurker here for quite some time. I found your site back in May when I first joined WW. I think someone on the message boards was referring to it.

    I love the tips! I will definitely try the counter pushups…very good idea!

    I have also started parking far away…rain or shine! I started doing that when I read a remark someone made…saying….
    “fat people park close!” Since then, I have been determined to break my habit of circling the parking lot for a close spot!

    Thanks for the inspiration you provide to us all, Roni!

  • Julie

    By the way, my computer chair is becoming kind of ragged looking. I have a medicine ball that I don’t use often enough. Maybe that will be a smart replacement!

  • Julie

    As I was reading this stuff to my hubby I realized I said MEDICINE ball not EXERCISE ball! Those medicine balls are tiny!

  • Maura

    I had to laugh because I do squats while brushing me teeth also (2 mins w/sonicare!) But I won’t do it either if my husband is there, it’s kinda embarrassing ;)

  • RunningNan

    That’s awesome! I thought I was the only one that did counter pushups! I guess I shouldn’t complain so much about my laundry being downstairs!

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  • http://idietdaily.com Matt

    Roni,

    I can definitely relate to the snow shoveling tip. Living in Wisconsin I have plenty of opportunities to get out into the elements a burn a few calories. Sure I could just use the snow blower but what fun would the be right.

    Matt

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