Hands up if physical exercise is something you tend to have a love-hate relationship with?
I remember when I was a child, my PE teacher told me,
“If you don’t keep your heart rate elevated for at least 30 minutes, then it doesn’t count as exercise.”
How depressing I thought at the time : (
Good news though because today, I have some wonderful news.
It turns out that old way of thinking is not true.
According to research even short bouts of low-intensity physical activity has substantial health benefits.
We’re talking about things like walking your kids to school, hanging out the washing instead of using the dryer, cooking from scratch instead of ordering in take-aways.
Basically, it’s living your life like our grandparents did before all the technological advancements, and we became very sedentary.
If you’re thinking
“hmmmm, can activities like gardening or cooking have a measurable impact on health?’. After all, those things aren’t ‘exercise’, right?”
Fortunately, turns out that our bodies don’t care whether those things are ‘exercise’ or not.
Our bodies just love to move.
And anything that reduces us being sedentary is positive.
So, here’s a couple of ways you can add more activity and movement into your day without exercising:
- Use a basket at the supermarket instead of the trolley.
- Hang your washing on the line instead of using the dryer.
- Walk your kids to school.
- Take the stairs! How often do you take the elevator up or down a single floor? Cut it out! The elevator and robs you of movement and it doesn’t save time.
If you work on the 20th floor, leave the elevator on the 18th and walk the last two floors.
This sounds weird, but my personal strategy is to drink a lot of green tea. When you’re continually sipping fluids, you’ll need to pee. Often. That’s a five-minute stroll every hour, right there.
It’s so easy to forget to go for a stroll or take a short break every hour, but it’s impossible to forget to go pee. So you might want to try that one on.
You can see that none of these activities is big in isolation.
But start doing them.
Use the old fashioned method – instead of technological advances…. because these do add up over time.