I love the pictures of the gorgeously tanned women starting their morning with a few sun salutations on a Bali beach. Of course their post morning workout is supplemented with the latest smoothie bowl and detox cleanse. Not surprising, most of these photos rarely include little ones clinging to their legs, or teenagers interrupting them for a ride to practice. Obviously I’m all for healthier living, but I’m also passionate about practical living.
Since I don’t see the beaches of Indonesia, or even California, in my near future. Since I’m not single and in my twenties. And, since I don’t know when smoothies moved from a straw to a bowl, I guess I have to find more realistic ways to add exercise to my daily routine.
I’m not motivated by friends’ marathon and triathlon photos. Truth be told, I don’t really want to ride a bike unless we’re heading to a coffee shop or ice cream store (someday I’ll live in a European village where I ride my bike to the market for flowers, baguettes, and fresh fruit…maybe after I wake up to yoga in Bali). I also can’t understand why people pay to walk on a treadmill when you can walk outside for free.
As an adult I’ve struggled with “working out.” Through childhood and into college I was either in a gym training 3 hours a day for gymnastic meets or in a dance studio up to ten hours a day. Today, I’d rather wax anything than take a kettle bell or spin class.
But, exercise is important, especially as we get older. Ladies, once we hit 40, hormones are changing, we lose lean body mass, and bone density loss can occur rapidly. According to Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD
“after age 40, women lose about 1% of their lean body mass per year if they’re inactive.”
It’s time to make time to move.
Considering you burn more calories sleeping than vegging on the couch watching tv, it doesn’t take much for small activies throughout the day to quickly add up. 60 minutes of exercise doesn’t have to be in a row. Granted, you may not burn equivilant calories as you would during an hour spin class, but some days its a miracle to find 5 minutes to exercise.
Also considering that I count grating a block of cheese as a mini arm workout, I’m pretty adept at incorporating extra movement (or as I like to think of them- “microbursts of activity”) throughout the day.
You know the old standbys: park further from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Here are a few more easy ways to add exercise without a gym membership.
- Sworkit. No, they aren’t paying me (…they should for as many people as I’ve told though!). Sworkit is an app that lets you choose the type of workout (strength, cardio, yoga, stretch, butt…) and the duration of time. Yes, even 5 minutes. Some of the exercises are more difficult than you’d think, but there’s a “model” demonstrating the moves so you really just have to follow along. No equipment necessary and you can even do it while watching tv. Plus, it’s nice to say “yeah, I did a little core workout today.” No one needs to know that it was only five minutes!
- Rethink Girls Night: Going out for dinner and drinks is nice, but so is a competitive game of bags, mini-golf, roller derby, or bowling. You may still have a few cocktails, but at least there’s activity too. Afraid to join a class full of strangers? Many yoga, fitness, and pilates studios will offer private classes for small groups. Belly dancing anyone?!
- Hit the Playground: No little kids of your own? I’m sure a neighbor would be willing to lend you hers for a half hour. Challenge yourself to do everything they do: run up the slide, try the monkey bars, hula hoop, jump rope, swing. You might be ready for a nap when it’s over too.
- Clean like Company Is Coming: Crank up the tunes and scrub that tub. Whether it’s one room or the whole house, cleaning can actually be vigorous work. Same goes for other household chores- mowing the lawn, gardening, raking leaves, and shoveling snow.
- Walk the Dog: Skip the treadmill and take the dog (yours, a friend’s, or even a shelter pup) for a walk. Not only will your body benefit from the movement, but your brain will too.
A “bikini body” is simply a state of mind. We all could learn a thing or two about confidence from this 90-year old!
Looking for more ideas? Try these 6 ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine.
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