Today’s blog post was written by Monica Preisig, Green Mountain fitness intern, and is part of our top-40 series to mark Green Mountain’s 40th anniversary.
Whether you are feeling stuck and unmotivated with your fitness routine, or are struggling with being active at all, one of the things we recommend at Green Mountain is to add movement to your life that doesn’t seem like “exercise.” I like to call it opportunistic exercise.
Opportunistic exercise is adding movement to your everyday activities, or looking at how you can do everyday activities differently to make them more active. It’s all part of becoming an intrinsic exerciser, which strengthens your chances of staying with it for the long-haul.
Some Movement Is Better Than Nothing
Read Related Article: Learning to Love Physical Activity
We also like to remind our participants that something is better than nothing to get them out of the all-or-nothing mindset, which diminishes the chances of sticking with an exercise routine.
Start by thinking about where you are everyday – work, home, and with friends and family – and how you can add a little “something” to each.
Ways to Add More Movement
- Rake leaves, mow the lawn and wash your own windows
- Chop and stack wood
- Take the dog for a walk or play catch, instead of letting him/her out in the backyard
- Plant and tend a garden
- Paint a room in your house a fun color
- Dance-Clean: Put on some tunes and dance like no one’s watching while you clean
- Get off the bus or subway at the stop before your stop
- Do bicep curls with your grocery bags
- Add a habit to another habit, e.g. doing squats while brushing your teeth
- Wash & wax your car (instead of taking it through the car wash)
- Shovel your own sidewalk (bonus points: shovel your neighbor’s too!)
- Bike or walk an errand, e.g. delivering a letter to the post office
- Don’t send someone else to get something upstairs, do it yourself
- Skip the drive-through for coffee; go inside and order
- Walk or bike to work once a week
- Schedule walking meetings with colleagues
- Take a stroll around the office once a day – you also get to visit with everyone
- Connect your computer to a printer further away
- Skip the elevator, take the stairs
- Sit on an exercise ball at your desk or try a standing desk
- Walk for half of your lunch break
- Stretch every time you use the bathroom
- Take phone calls standing up
- Walk to a colleague’s office instead of e-mailing or calling
- Do wall push-ups or tricep dips during conference calls
- Pack a picnic and hit the park instead of going to a restaurant
- Go to a concert where you will dance, dance, dance
- Do your Green Mountain stretches while you watch TV
- Avoid online shopping and hit the stores
- Look for volunteer opportunities that are active, e.g. helping clean a local park
- Try mini-golf or the batting cages instead of video games
- Go apple picking or berry picking
- Keep a pair of sneakers in your car in case the opportunity to walk arises
- Park at the end opposite your destination at the mall
- Fire up an audio book so you can walk while you “read”
- Do toe raises and calf raises while standing in line
- Meet a friend for coffee and walk while you catch up
- Go to a playground with your family and actually play on the monkey bars, swings and ladders
- Opt for dinner and dancing instead of dinner and a movie
- Get involved in a life long recreational activity like archery, camping, volleyball, tennis or golf
Finding something to do for yourself, even it if it as small as getting up and stretching every hour, is a fantastic way to reboot your energy level, keep you focused and not stay sitting.
Have you found a way to add more movement to your life by switching up your routine? How?