Increasing daily physical activity often requires a change in thinking. To most
of us, efficiency is doing more in less time. The American Heart Association
publishes a book entitled Fitting in Fitness - Hundreds of Simple Ways to Put
More Physical Activity into Your Life. Ive adapted a few ideas for this
months thought bullets. During the month of December, I hope you can find at
least one suggestion that works for you.
- Walk around the outside aisles of the grocery store before you start
- Make a game of finding the parking spot the furthest away from the door
you want to enter.
- Do lunges as you vacuum.
- Make setting the table a game to see how many steps it takes to complete
the task. Instead of carrying 2 glasses, carry one at a time. Walk
completely around the table before laying down a fork.
- Stand up as you talk on the phone. Add stretch activities (shoulder rolls,
trunk twisters, leg lifts, neck stretches, etc.).
- While watching your favorite TV show, pledge to stand up and do physical
activities during each commercial break. Try push ups, sit ups, stretches,
pretend jump roping, etc.
- Write physical activity "appointments" into your daily planner
and schedule. Respect them as you do any other appointment.
- Dont let bad weather be an excuse to be inactive. Find a mall, office
building, gym, armory, or large building to walk. If you cant leave your
home, put on your favorite music and create your own "dance
- Instead of becoming frustrated when you are forced to wait for something,
turn "waiting time" into your personal "energizing
time." Heres a few ideas: There will be at least a 20 minute wait at
the dentist go for a walk. The light turns yellow while waiting at
the red light do a couple shoulder rolls, a few exaggerated yawns, and
before you know it, youre on your way. Theres a long wait at the
grocery store to check out pick up a gallon of milk and start doing arm
curls. Who knows, after a few curious stares, someone might join you!
- Suggest a "walk and talk" meeting. Discuss your important topics
during a brisk walk.
Source: Fitting in Fitness - Hundreds of Simple Ways to Put More Physical
Activity into Your Life, The American Heart Association - Fighting Heart
Disease and Stroke, 1997, Random House, NY, ISBN 0-8129-2911-X.
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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