Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have to worry about burning calories or going to the gym. They spent every day on their feet doing work just to stay alive.
Even not so long ago during the Industrial Revolution, the majority of jobs involved manual labor, which provided plenty of exercise.
Now, we sit in cars to go to work. We sit for 8 hours at our jobs. After work, we sit at home to watch Netflix for entertainment before bed.
You now have to intentionally add activity back into your daily routine if you want to stay healthy and not gain weight.
Maybe you are thinking to yourself, “I know, but I still hate going to the gym” or “I just don’t have time.”
Don’t worry! There are still other ways you can squeeze activity into your daily routine.
Adding these activities back into your life will not only help you burn calories, but they will enrich your life in other ways.
They will help you be more social, have more fun, and have a clearer mind!
1. Spend Time with Family Doing Activities
A wonderful way to burn calories is to spend more time with your family being active.
You will gain quality time with people you love, while encouraging each other to have a more active lifestyle.
Spend time with your significant other and/or kids at an entertaining place that involves walking (think the zoo, an amusement park, museum, shopping, etc.). Bonus burned calories if you are pushing a stroller!
If you have kids, you can also simply play outdoor games with them in the backyard or park.
Dogs are family too – make sure your pup gets regular walks and gets to go to the park with you!
2. Complete Household Chores Daily
Some people forget how physically demanding household chores can be. Chores such as mopping or gardening can burn over 200 calories in just one hour. (1)
Plus, keeping your home clean will cause you to feel more calm and organized.
Indoor chore examples: mopping, vacuuming, washing dishes, washing windows, painting walls
Outdoor chore examples: gardening, raking leaves, mowing lawn, shoveling snow, washing car
3. Use Your Legs More to Travel
It’s not all about vigorous exercise – walking is extremely beneficial to your health, and we don’t do it enough.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking helps you have a healthy weight, prevent diseases, strengthen bones, improve your mood, and improve your balance. (2)
Let’s start making an effort to add steps back into our daily routine.
Anytime you can, choose to walk or ride your bike to travel. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
When driving your car, get extra steps in by parking further away then you have to.
Get off the bus a stop earlier than you need to, and ask your Lyft driver to drop you off a couple blocks away from your actual destination.
4. Look for Ways to Be Active at Work
Many people have jobs that require them to sit for most of the day. But you can still find ways to be active throughout your workday.
Take a walk during your break time (this could be outside or simply walking around your building).
If you have any control of meetings, you could also walk & talk with your coworkers instead of sitting around a table. Also if possible, get a standing desk for your work space.
Remember to take the stairs in your building rather than the elevator.
You can also do chair exercises throughout the day while sitting at your desk. Here is a list of 7 chair exercises from yourmodernfamily.com.
5. Develop Active Hobbies for Fun
Everyone should find at least one hobby that is active. It provides a fun way to exercise, and a potential opportunity to be social.
These activities can be adventurous like hiking or wall climbing, team sports like volleyball or soccer, or something that’s just plain fun like dancing.
If having fun while exercising isn’t enough to convince you, these activities also give you a chance to make new friends.
Joining an adult sports club, taking group classes, and finding active meet ups are great ways to meet new people who enjoy being active.
You can become quick friends because you could potentially see them every week for a class or game.
6. Work Out at Home
Nothing says you can’t work out at home! You can buy home exercise equipment, but you don’t have to. I personally do my work outs by watching You-tube videos.
You can search for videos based on how long you want to work out (there are work outs ranging from 5 minutes to 1 hour), and what you want to do, like dancing, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, etc.
Some of my favorite You-tube exercise channels are Blogilates, FitnessBlender, and POPSUGAR Fitness. To get you started, here are You-tube playlists I made of my favorite 5-minute workouts and fun workouts.
You can also use exercise mobile apps to work out at home.
Some popular exercise apps include 30 Day Fitness Challenge Log, Weight Loss Fitness by Verv, Workout for Women, 7 Minute Workout Challenge, Daily Burn Trainer Workouts, and Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness.
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1. The Mayo Clinic Diet. Mayo Clinic Website. Link.
2. Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health. Mayo Clinic Website. Link.