Today, I’d have as much chance catching a shuttle to the moon as going to a gym. No offense if you’re a gym person. More than that, kudos to all you gym people! But, I could dig all the way to the bottoms of my toes and still not find that motivation again. Some things in life just change with time.
You’d have to have lived in a cave for the last 40+ years to not know that exercise goes hand in hand with disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle. That has not changed. However, it seems to me there was a time of ‘do or die’ thinking. Get out there and run your buns off or have a heart attack and die. Blood, sweat and tears aerobics is how to burn the fat off those thighs. I think that once we realized the health benefits of fitness we kind of went nuts. There is no question of the health benefits of being active physically. There is also plenty of evidence for the decline in health from being sedentary. Workouts are still in. Because they work. How we ‘work out’ has branched out. Our lives no longer have to revolve around workouts, work outs can be a part of our every day lives. And we can still reap the benefits. For me, this slight shift in the definition of physical activity is very motivating.
It’s called Lifestyle Physical Activity. Research has compared gym type workouts with short bursts of every day types of physical activity. The outlook is good. A single workout, like a step aerobics class, 3 times a week, can burn up a good amount of calories. But doing a total of 30 minutes of short bursts of purposeful lifestyle physical activity on most days of the week shows similar weight loss results. For example, a ten minute brisk walk, ten minutes of vigorous bathroom scrubbing, and ten minutes of pulling weeds during your day.
Have you ever known a naturally lean person? OK, dumb question. Have you ever observed a naturally lean person? You should try it sometime. You can really learn a thing or two about the difference between being overweight and a healthy weight. It’s highly likely that a good number of these people never set foot in a gym. Why? Because they are charter members of the Lifestyle Physical Activity Club. They take walks, choose the stairway over the elevator, do gardening. It’s not forced activity, it’s natural activity. It’s how they approach each day.
What does a day of lifestyle physical activity look like for me?
- I take short walks and dance around the house.
- I don’t sit in one place very long. I take breaks during computer sessions.
- I run up stairs and clean house with vigor.
- I walk at a brisk pace, everywhere. I wonder if I should attach a blinker and a horn before I go shopping — I pass so many people in the isles.
- I take the further away parking spots. The time to purposely park at a prime, directly in front of the door spot, is at the maternity ward, when you’re in labor! Isn’t that right, Sisters!
The Lifestyle Physical Activity Club. That’s where my membership is. And, it’s free!