Everyday Activities & Fitness
Can performing everyday activities keep you physically fit? You would be surprised at how many calories you burn by doing housekeeping chores, shopping or chasing after children. There are many fitness tricks you can learn by increasing your activity at work, home or vacationing. Burn calories, tone muscles and lose weight in your everyday life.
1 AnswerMaoshing Ni, Gerontology, answeredSitting at a desk all day and staring into the screen can zap you of your energy and drain your mood. To get out of your rut, all you have to do is get back on your feet! Yes, it is as simple as taking a few moments to stand tall, stretch your arms, and wiggle your toes and fingers. A boost in circulation will deliver much needed oxygen-rich blood to your cells. You will feel an instant surge in your mood and energy level. Smile while you stand! A smile will trigger the release of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that will instantly perk up your mood.
1 AnswerIntermountain Healthcare answeredAdding regular physical activity is even more important if you have a disability, since people with disabilities tend to lead less active lifestyles. Regular physical activity can help you develop a stronger heart and stronger lungs and muscles -- and can improve your mental health and ability to do everyday tasks.
1 AnswerIntermountain Healthcare answeredYou can do a lot to improve your fitness by simply changing a few habits. Here are some ideas:
- Take the stairs, not the elevator.
- Walk whenever you can, instead of driving.
- Get off the bus a stop early.
- Stand up while talking on the phone.
- Lose your TV remote control -- get up to change channels. Or, get up and move during commercials.
- At work, use lunch hours and coffee breaks to take a walk around the building.
- Make social occasions more active -- instead of dining out, go dancing!
1 AnswerEdward Phillips, Physical Therapy, answeredBurning off additional calories through activity is essential for most people who are trying to lose weight. Actively seek opportunities to fidget and move around more. Pace while you're talking on the phone. Walk down the hall to talk to a co-worker rather than calling or e-mailing. Clean house less efficiently by alternating tasks in different rooms or floors so that you walk up and down stairs and in and out of rooms more often. Fidget when you're sitting down or lying on a couch: jiggle your foot, cross and uncross legs, shift in place, get up to stretch or walk around for a few minutes every hour. If you're watching TV, use commercial breaks as your cue to start moving—better still, march in place while watching the show or skip it entirely for an exercise session.
1 AnswerEdward Phillips, Physical Therapy, answeredOne easy way to bump up your activity is to seek ways to slip exercise into your day. Start noticing downtime during your day—while holding on the phone, during TV commercials—and fill these minutes with simple activities, such as marching or jogging in place, a few strength exercises, jumping jacks, and so on. This can be a time-saver, too. You'll build stamina while reaping some health rewards, particularly if the activities you choose last 10 minutes or more.
Here are additional ways to fit exercise into your daily routine:
- Walk, rollerblade, or bike to work or while doing errands, rather than hopping in your car.
- If you take public transportation, get off a few stops early and walk to your destination.
- If you need the car to run errands, park in one spot and walk to several shops.
- At the mall, choose parking spots that are farther away from the stores.
- Take stairs, not elevators.
- Rather than watching your kids play, challenge them to an active game, on or off the computer: Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution, Frisbee, a hula hoop contest, hopscotch, basketball.
- While on the phone, pace or do simple exercises like lunges, squats, and heel raises.
- Walk your dog instead of just letting him out in the backyard.
- Rake leaves and shovel snow instead of using leaf blowers or snow blowers. Use a push-reel lawn mower rather than a riding mower.
- Try a walk with a friend instead of meeting at a coffee shop.
2 AnswersJohn Preston, PsyD, Psychology, answeredMost of us could easily increase our activity level simply by increasing the number of steps we take per day. Some people like to swim, hike, bike, play tennis, or do a host of other physical activities. The way to increase your activity level if you're already doing something is to do your favorite activities more often or for longer durations than you're doing them now.
Below are some ways to increase your activity level. If it doesn't work for you, try something else. The goal is to find a routine and stick with it:
- Park your car farther from the door when running errands, going shopping, or visiting friends.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take a dance class or use an exercise video or DVD.
- Go dancing with friends.
- Take your dog for longer walks.
- Get off the bus a stop or two before your destination.
- Do some stretches and walking during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show.
- At work, use the most out-of-the-way bathroom, copier, or fax machine.
- Deliver items to coworkers instead of sending them through interoffice mail.
- While your child plays soccer, walk around the field.
- Forget about the drive-through window. Park the car and walk into the building.
- Take a ten- to fifteen-minute walk during your breaks and at lunchtime at work. Your productivity will actually increase, because exercise improves brain performance. This will also reduce stress and give your body a break from its routine.
- Take walking dates with your loved ones instead of sitting down with a glass of wine or a cup of tea or coffee.
- Do errands on foot or bicycle.
- Pursue your hobbies by going to trade shows, which often require a lot of walking.
- Take a hike. This doesn't require going to the mountains. Simply walk through a park or take an urban hike by finding a route in town and taking a brisk walk along that route.
- Take a walking tour of various art galleries.
- Get rid of the remote control and walk up to the TV to adjust the volume, change channels, or turn it on or off.
- Join an activity club that reflects your own interests. The social aspects and having organized activities you love provide social support and activity. Examples include hiking clubs, swimming clubs, a golfing group, and an outdoor club.
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2 AnswersNational Academy of Sports Medicine answeredToo keep your child active after school, look around and see if there are any after school programs offered by the school or another local organization such as the YMCA. If nothing like this exists, another option is to enroll your child into a seasonal sport such as soccer, baseball, basketball, dance, or a martial art.
2 AnswersBrooke Randolph, Marriage & Family Therapy, answeredIf you have children, playing with them can be a great way to model being active, build your relationship, and burn some calories all at the same time. Even if you don't have children at home, you can play like a child and bring some fun into your workouts:
Join a Team -- Think of all the activity, challenge, and fun you enjoyed with little league and school sports teams. When you are focused on competition, you can spend an extended amount of time being active without even noticing it. City parks, Sunday school organizations, and businesses all offer intramurals. If there isn't one near you, why not start one?
Playground Equipment -- A playground can be like an obstacle course. You can climb a pole, pump your legs on a swing, or cross the monkey bars. Monkey bars also offer a great tool for pull-ups, hanging sit-ups, and more.
Wheelies -- Before you could drive, you likely had experience with several self-propelled vehicles. You probably did not try Heelies, but why not now? Skating rinks do still exist and many cities have trails perfect for rollerblades and bicycles. Have you tried skateboarding? There are many ways to get from here to there that will benefit your body and the environment.
Run Around -- Instead of running circles on a track, chase your kids, or just follow their lead and run everywhere you go. Even if you are just going to the mailbox, active children would run that distance. Play tag with a group of kids. All these short runs end up being a lot of sprints without realizing what you are doing.
3 AnswersBrooke Randolph, Marriage & Family Therapy, answeredHere are three ways you can squeeze exercise into your summer schedule:
Walk -- Parking at events that draw a crowd is always an issue, and nobody wants to pay event parking prices. When I lived downtown, friends would gather at my place and walk to events. A mile there and a mile back at a moderate pace can burn a couple hundred calories. Even if you don't live in the midst of activities, you can park a mile or so away, burning calories and saving money. Just make sure to wear sensible shoes!
Rather than bathing in the sun, which isn't good for your health, enjoy the weather by rubbing on your sun protection factor (SPF) and walking instead of lying. You may discover a beautiful new neighborhood, dining establishment with a patio, or local shop. Whether you bump into friendly faces or not, you are guaranteed to feel better than if you were lying around.
Hit the trail -- Whether it's a park, a trail, or country roads, most people have somewhere it is safe to walk, run, bike, or in-line skate. In Indianapolis, the Monon trail stretches through most of the city and beyond, and is a great place for a casual walk, a serious run, or socializing your dog. Not only is it an activity-friendly environment, but it's encouraging to see so many different people at different levels of fitness participating in a variety of activities.
Bring on the games -- There may not be any Summer Olympics this year, but you can still get competitive in your own backyard. Set up a volleyball or badminton net, pull out a soccer ball or baseball, or organize three-legged races or ultimate Frisbee at your next cookout or gathering. You might be surprised how much people enjoy participating in "cheesy" events. My parents host a Celtic-themed party each Fall, complete with the backyard version of Scottish games that are always a hit.