Hello SOTGC community,
You know those scenes in Grey’s Anatomy (yes, it’s still one of my favorite shows) where Meredith and Christina dance it out? I love those. I know exactly what they are feeling – alive, happy, confident, and making the most out of a moment.
And that is how our workouts should make us feel. Often, our days are not going to go exactly as planned, and those scheduled workouts may not happen (and, quite frankly, sometimes those workouts get bo-ring). That’s okay. Remember, whatever your goal is – to get stronger, learn something new, clear your mind, or get a good sweat on – as long as you get active you should feel alive, happy, and more confident.
The current CDC exercise guidelines for adults include 150 minutes (that’s 2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate aerobic intensity exercise per week, as well as muscle strengthening activities on two or more days a week. These can be broken up into smaller increments or more intensity, whatever fits your lifestyle. When being active is part of your lifestyle, it is no longer a chore or something that you have to fit into your schedule (therefore less likely to be missed!); it just becomes who you are.
So get creative with it!
Below are my fun, challenging ways to get your 30 minutes (or more!) in every day:
1 – Just Play – Join a sports team (many employers have teams, or find a group through MeetUp.com), workout at the playground (try this playground workout curcuit), or try a new activity, anything that channels your inner child. I recently tried stand up paddle boarding (SUP). It was challenging on my balance and very rewarding since I was learning a new skill. The great bonus is I can do it with friends for some quality girl time or with my husband who tends to push me outside my comfort zone – racing me in the water or challenging me to go into the open waters.
2 – Dance It Out – “If we’re not supposed to dance, why all this music?” – Gregory Orr, from the poem “To Be Alive.”
Dancing is a great way to express yourself and to get a good workout. If you don’t believe me, listen to Fred Astaire talk about it’s benefits. While you may not be game for ballroom dance lessons, go ahead and bust a move once in a while. If you are a mom, this is especially fun with your kids. Throw a 15-minute dance party before bed to get that last ounce of energy out. A few songs will get your heart pumping if you get into it (make sure there is a lot of jumping and fist pumping involved). And there is nothing like that look of sheer joy illuminated on their faces and reflected on yours! Our family is currently enjoying the ChaCha slide … There’s a reason Zumba is so popular.
3 – Squats On The Sly – Yes, I am that person on jury duty who sneaks away to the bathroom to do squats and lunges. Don’t limit yourself to those two exercises; push-ups are also easy to sneak in especially if you’re near a counter. While at work I always took the stairs, even made it a race with one of my colleagues. The point is these little things add up throughout the day, and before you know it 10 squats could be 100!
4 – Jumping Rope – Jump rope is fast, fun, challenging, and portable. Here’s a great little routine to get you started from our friends at Equinox http://q.equinox.com/articles/2014/04/jump-rope-video?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_03_11&emmcid=EMM-0311-QWeeklyNewsletter3112015. And guess what? According to research, jumping rope at least five minutes a day can improve physical fitness (http://www.jumpropeinstitute.com/benefits.htm).
5 – Pick A Partner In Crime – I just came across this article that says, “When wife meets [exercise] guidelines, husbands are 70% more likely to follow” and, “wife is 40% more likely to meet [exercise] guidelines if husband exercises.” So grab your partner and get active!
6 – Insert Your Own – Would love to hear from you! What gets you moving? What activities get your heart pumping and put a smile on your face? What do you do to clear your mind at work? How do you make exercise fun, challenging, and, most importantly, a part of your lifestyle?