Following yesterday’s announcement, one of the new topics I want to introduce is “Healthy Living.” While it may seem to appear otherwise (with recipes like this), I am actually a very health conscious person and Mr. RC and I try (emphasis on try) to maintain a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle full of organic produce, natural products and a decent dose of physical activity.
People are always asking me how I lost weight or how I stay so skinny with daily indulgences in ice-cream, my bi-weekly pasta dishes and no gym membership. So today I wanted to focus on what I call “Everyday Exercises”. I’ve never been big in to sports teams (I opted instead for figure skating and tennis) and I’ve gone through varying levels of exercise routines (from couch potato to extreme 13+ mile daily runs). Over the last couple years, as life has become more and more hectic, and a rigid workout regime seems harder and harder to maintain, I’ve learned to focus not so much on a workout schedule but instead fitting workouts into my schedule.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”
This mentality has been my saving grace over the last few months, as I’ve had time to do all of two actual workouts. Here are some of the ways I fit in “Everyday Exercises” and stay in shape without a set routine-
1. Take the stairs– I’ve gotten a huge advantage in this category since moving to the top of a 4th floor walk-up building and living off the highest subway platform in the city (aka it’s a
100 bazillion steps to the top), but I can sure tell the difference. Adding in these extra steps has helped me (unintentionally) drop a dress size since May, which just goes to show that even the smallest additional activity can truly make a world of difference. So instead of the elevator or escalator, walk those stairs.
2. Stand, don’t sit– There are a million times a day where it would be a lot easier to just sit down, but standing burns more calories and helps with balance and posture. Some examples of when I stand instead of sit- while waiting for pictures to load onto the blog, while reading other blogs, while browsing Pinterest, while waiting for dinner to cook, and while brushing my teeth. It should also be noted that I prefer to stand on one leg instead of two (with the other leg bent up and placed on my knee), which frequently gets me odd looks and the nickname ‘flamingo’. Another great standing activity? Calf raises.
3. Step up the step stool action– Whenever I need to reach something requiring a step stool, I make sure to climb up and down the stool several extra times. This helps to get in some extra steps, especially if you don’t have any stairs to climb.
4. Commercials are for workouts, not breaks– TV is a huge time waster as far as I’m concerned (although I still have plenty of favorite shows I enjoy watching). But instead of sitting during the commercials take advantage of that time to squeeze in some crunches, knockout a few push-ups, lunge across your living room or even rep out some bicep curls. By the time your show finishes you will have worked all your muscles and won’t feel quite so guilty for indulging in an hour (or two) of tv.
5. Give cleaning a whole new meaning– There is always a new product on the market to make cleaning easier. But some times the good ol’ fashioned way is best. There is no better arm workout than scrubbing a floor or tub on your hands and knees. I also sweep and vacuum our apartment several times a week, obviously to keep it clean, but also because it adds additional steps and movement to my day. Another way to fit in some activity is to hand wish your dishes (my 94-year-old grandmother, who still washes all her dishes by hand, would vouch for this one). This rule also applies to outdoor activities- i.e. mow your grass by hand, rake your leaves yourself and shovel your snow instead of having it plowed.
6. Skip (the movie) to the park– You don’t literally have to skip to the park, but instead of catching up with your other half (or your friends) over dinner or drinks or having a date at the movies, take a walk in the park. Mr. RC and I have an (almost) nightly habit of taking hour-long walks after work to get fresh air, unwind from stress and catch-up on our days. We barely even notice that we’re also fitting a workout in.
How do you stay fit and in shape with a busy schedule?