Guest post contributed by Abigail
I never imagined sitting for almost eight hours a day would be this body-aching and tiring. When I started working in an office-based company, I have no choice but to sit in front of the computer. I was so used to walking and standing for long periods of time at the university. It’s been completely hard to squeeze in an evening jog, let alone a gym session because of the pending graduate school workload to even think about. Plus, I’ve just recovered from a shoulder injury due to an ill-execution of a strength exercise so I should avoid rigorous routines in the meantime. I’m hesitant to consider my lifestyle as healthy because I barely even sweat. Fortunately, many people go through similar situations, and their advice on how to address this sheds hope to my frustrations. The workout alternatives are the ones we often take for granted every day.
Stretching Our Life Span
This prepares your body for another day of physical and mental activities. We’ve been taught to warm-up before going for a run or a gym session. It’s always an SOP in PE class. A simple execution can bring about lots of benefits to the body. Stretching flexes the muscles and strengthens the joints, increasing our range of motion, improving your posture, alleviating pains (especially at the back for sitting for a long time), preventing injuries and managing stress. Doing so also pumps up our system, especially our blood circulation, energy levels, stamina and the easing of tension in our body incurred by stress.
I execute the stretching routine my gym instructor taught me in the comforts of my home. I either do it in the morning or late in the afternoon after work. It only takes 5-10 minutes, but the effects are just great. My body starts to feel light and it becomes easier to move.
Keeping the House a Home
While scientists still require a wide range of activities to be considered healthy, they don’t entirely discount the calorie-burning benefits of these routine tasks. They may not burn as much, but at least you’re burning some while keeping my house clean and tidy. Not only do they strengthen the bones and muscles, they also boost our mood at some point. Doing these trivial tasks has emotional and psychological benefits to everyone and it’s backed by science.
It certainly makes one feel fulfilled after a productive day, like starting your day by making your bed, cooking, washing the plates and sweeping the floor a bit before taking off to work. When I get home, I fold the clothes, cleaning the room, hand-wash a few clothing or perhaps re-arranging the living room set-up once in a while. You just gotta love to move it!
Sweating It Out
Sweat cools down our bodies, giving us a refreshed sensation after doing several physical activities. Sweating has tons of benefits – all the more reasons we have to love this often icky feeling. We deprive our bodies of the detoxifying power of perspiration if we don’t break a sweat.
Without perspiring, doing the above-mentioned activities will only amount to half-full. When the weather’s fairly warm, I get to perspire while walking. But when it gets cool or rainy, I do brisk walking to pump up my cardio and sweat glands. When at work or at a shopping center, I take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator if it’s just a floor or two. Besides, people want to have it easy these days, so the escalators are often crowded. Thus, I take the road less taken.
Walking Down the Lane
This staple human mobility contributes to your total well-being. Scientists unceasingly remind us to get out of our house, breathe fresh air, bask in the sun and walk. Even companies have joined in this campaign. Walking programs are organized by companies to encourage their employees to walk it out. The benefits of walking in relation to stress often go unnoticed and sometimes neglected because people just get too exhausted to even bother walking. However, experts remind us again and again that taking a stroll re-energizes the body and refreshes the mind, and being surrounded by natural scenery is a bonus.
Playing a la Bonding
It could be with your kids, pets or with the people around you. It’s important to bond with your kids whenever possible. Parental interaction is crucial, especially in the kids’ formative years. Chasing toddlers around burns a lot of calories. If you have teens, opt for a short bike ride together.
Our furry friends also need attention, and playing with them is a form of stress relief to people and to them. For my cats, I don’t just give them toys to play with, instead, I move their toys around so they would chase after me. No problem with dogs, though. They’re hyper enough to force you to jive with their energy.
Working out this way makes the heart full as it makes us smile and laugh. We also need to guffaw every now in then, if not daily. Who wouldn’t laugh at goofy faces of adorable kids and the funny yet delightful ways of our pets?
Cultivating the Soil and Soul
It may sound so old-school and urban dwellings don’t usually have enough space for a backyard. If available, cultivate it by planting flowers, plants or vegetables. More than just digging on the ground, pulling weeds and watering the plants, you’d need to move it by constantly landscaping your plot, trimming your plants and raking. Gardening is hard work!
Best of all, it’s therapeutic. Doctors urge people to plant and grow something, for they relieve us of stress and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Who doesn’t love just looking at the thriving life in your yard? The greens and a variety of colors make us feel calm and refresh our perspectives. The more we cultivate them, the more they cultivate our inner being.
You see, having no time to go to the gym is not a good excuse to live an active, healthy lifestyle. The more we think that we’re hopeless because we’re not working out, the more we’ll slack until our enthusiasm is gone. A tight schedule is painstaking enough and inserting additional activities often gets stressful, but one just has to be creative when it comes to exercising.
Abigail Sabijon is a blogger and editor of scoopfed.com. This health conscious-slash-enthusiast animal-lover lives with her loving husband in their humble suburban home.