Going to the gym and lifting weights is not critical to a healthy lifestyle. It’s certainly not the only way to get in shape and live an active life, or even necessarily the best way. Neither is running, dancing, or yoga. There’s truly no mandatory activity, no right or wrong way you must include in your life in order to be fit. But you must do something. To live a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to build activity into your day-to-day routine.
The beauty of it is you can really choose any activity that you enjoy. No need to force yourself to do something you hate, or something that feels awkward or uncomfortable, just focus on what is fun and adds joy to your life.
Health and fitness are as much a mindset as they are a daily practice. You have to condition your mind and body to be ok with working hard, and enjoying the process. We developed and evolved over many many years, and humans have always been active, mobile creatures. When we fall into sedentary routines and don’t pay attention to our diet, our health suffers.
Use these tips to get more exercise throughout your daily routine.
Take the Stairs
It’s so simple. Walking up stairs is a great exercise for your whole lower body, and your core. It’s simple, and doesn’t even take much longer than using the elevator as long as you’re only going a couple floors. What’s especially fun is taking the stairs next to an escalator. Most of the time it’s even faster to take the stairs. Give it a go and smile at all the people you pass along the way.
Park Further Away
So many times we’re focused on finding the closest parking spot to the entrance to the store. Whether we’re grocery shopping, going to the hardware store, or parking for work, we’re intent to find the absolute closest spot to minimize the distance we need to walk. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “what’s so bad about parking further away?” It lets you get more exercise, you get to enjoy the fresh air, and it really doesn’t add any significant amount of time to get to and from your vehicle. Bonus points if you carry your grocery bags all the way across the parking lot on the way back!
Walk or Bike Instead of Drive
When was the last time that you walked somewhere instead of taking the car? Unless you live in an urban area in very tight quarters, chances are you’re taking a car just about everywhere you go day-in day-out. Make it a point to walk or bike places when possible, rather than using the car. It will save you gas money, let you slow down and reflect, and add more physical activity to your life.
Get a Friend
Accountability is key. Having an exercise buddy or group of friends to participate in activities makes it so much easier to life an active lifestyle. Exercise is a great way to build friendships as well. When you get into a routine of pushing one another, and encouraging your partner to stick with it even when they don’t feel like it, they’ll do the same for you. If you don’t have a partner, group of friends, or social circle that likes to get outdoors and stay active, then start of by going on your own. Strike up a conversation with someone around you who seems to be enjoying the same activities. Chances are they’ll enjoy the interaction and you just may become accountability buddies.
Focus on How you Feel, Rather than Look
We’re constantly bombarded with media and advertisements telling us what we should wear, how we should look, what we should eat, and what we must buy. Learn to rise above it. Learn to listen to what your body tells you rather than the advertisement or commercial. When you focus on the way that you feel, rather than the way you look, life is so much more enjoyable. Nobody is perfect, and nobody sticks to a perfect routine. But, when we are generally healthy, and when we’re learning, growing, and moving in the right direction, we’re much happier.