At the end of the day, you may feel like life has already put you through a workout. The last thing you want to do is hit the gym and feel like you are punishing your body even more.
With work, family responsibilities and prior-made engagements, it feels like it is impossible for you to get a workout in—let alone take care of yourself instead of everyone else.
However, your health should come first. That doesn’t mean you should leave your daughter waiting for you to get picked up at soccer practice, it just means you have to make sure you’re placing your health as a priority.
There are so many alternatives to being active than just going to the gym and attending a class. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to live a healthy, active lifestyle. It simply means taking exercise to a practical level.
“Hidden Fitness” is a way to keep the balance in check between your busy lifestyle and getting your body moving. It doesn’t have to be mundane, it doesn’t have to be rigorous, and it definitely won’t look the same every day.
When you find yourself too busy to hit the gym, try these tips:
1. Take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator.
This tip can be implemented at work, at home, and anywhere that has stairs. Unless your office is on the 47th floor and by the time you’ll get there it’ll be time for lunch break, you can easily opt for the stairs instead of getting a ride from the elevator. Even when you find its inevitable take the elevator—get creative—take it up to the 44th or 45th floor instead and then climb the remaining stairs to your office. A simple walk up and down a few stairs may not seem like a major change when just looking at your day-to-day but can make a huge difference in a week span, a month, and even a year.
2. Park in the back of the parking lot.
Not only does this tip help with your cardiovascular health with exercise, it will also lower your stress levels! Even though it may not seem like much stress is going on to find the perfect parking space close to the door—it can turn pretty adrenaline-pinching.
Imagine a scenario where you’ve found the holy grail of parking spaces and someone slides in right before you get there (even though your turning signal was clearly blinking). This might cause some tension and even possibly an argument or a bit of road rage. When you’ve already resolved to parking in the back, you can rest assured that you’ll always find a parking space, you won’t have those stress levels rising, and the walk from your car to the front door and back is your hidden exercise—imagine making that walk to and from several times in various locations! However, if you are alone at night, it’s not recommended.
3. Use public transportation.
If you live in a city where public transportation is readily available, you can easily switch and go green. Making the switch comes with a whole lot of benefits—not only for you but for the environment, as well! You’ll be able to save some money on gas, parking meters, speeding tickets, and also have the extra time on the bus or train to get some last minute work done before you head in. You can also catch a healthy breakfast or read the morning news without having to worry about driving. Ride your bike or walk to the bus stop or train stations. These few extra blocks of walking add up after some work days.
4. Be that busybody at work.
Especially if you are in an office job, it’s hard to not sit at your desk for eight hours in a day. However, during your work, you can go the extra mile—both literally and figuratively.
Instead of sending an inter-work message online or an e-mail to your colleague seated down the hall, get up and go down the hall yourself. If they would rather have a digital copy of what you’re saying, send one and check in on them, anyway. You might come to find that you can communicate your point better in person. When enough time has passed by—every hour or so, get up and go to the water fountain, go to the bathroom or just stand up and stretch.
These four tips are easy-to-implement in your daily life. Over time, you’ll find that the small changes can make all the difference. Even for the busiest people, these are a few practical ways you can get moving, get your heart rate up, and get healthier. You can lead a more active, healthier lifestyle, one easy small change at a time.