Daily Activity is Exercise
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Ask people the #1 reason why they don’t work out—and the answer is pretty much always: “I don’t have time.” But what most people don’t realize is that just the physical act of moving—daily activity—counts as exercise, too.
One woman I know was lamenting to me about this very same thing: she worked long hours in an office and just couldn’t find the energy or time to make it to the gym. But what I found out was she walked her dog every morning before work and every evening when she got home—but in her mind, because she wasn’t at the gym, those walks didn’t count as exercise. But they absolutely do. The universal recommendation is 30 minutes of activity every day: doing a 10-minute walk with your dog in the morning and a 10-minute walk at night counts…and the best part: you’re already more than halfway at your daily goal!
With that said, here’s a rundown of daily activities that people do on a regular basis that count as exercise; the more you do them, the more of a workout you’re getting. (This is the theory, by the way, behind all the new “smart” watches and straps that are coming onto the market now; they track your daily activity so you can see just how much you’ve really done.)
Gardening/yard work: Raking those leaves leftover from last fall can burn about 235 calories an hour, while getting out and mowing the lawn can blast up to 325 calories an hour. But just gardening—weeding, digging, and planting—are repetitive tasks that help build, and stretch, muscles. They can also burn calories (about 280 calories an hour). But just the sights, smells, and sounds of an outdoor garden can help relieve stress and boost your mood, too. (Not to mention, you’re able to reap your harvest.) All around, gardening is a win-win activity.
Going up and down stairs: So many of us are quick to go to the gym to use the Stair climber when we’ve often got our own “Stair climbers” right in our homes or apartment buildings. Going up and down stairs, at a moderate pace, can burn up to 500 calories an hour. Now, no one that I know is going to be walking up and down their stairs for a whole hour straight…but, think about how many times you go up and down the stairs throughout an entire day, and it might just total up to an hour.
One tip I learned—and have put into practice—recently: Don’t leave things to pile up at the bottom of the stairs; take individual items upstairs as soon as you need to and you’ll find yourself adding in more exercise. And if you want to try challenging yourself: make it a point to do a few lunges off the bottom step each time you reach it.
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