Today I taught nutrition education classes for K-4th grade. One of my favorite things to ask is, “what is your favorite way to stay physically active?” It is always so much fun to hear their answers. A few said playing sports or running, but the majority said bike riding, jumping rope, dancing, skateboarding,swimming, etc. When did working out become so uniform? Do we hit a certain age where having fun while staying active is not possible? I feel many of us (and myself included) fall into a routine of waking up, going to work, getting home, eating dinner, and then maybe motivating ourselves to run in circles (literally) or hit the sidewalk for a late night walk. While it’s awesome that you can get yourself up and get moving, should we be dreading it that much?
My simple substitute for the day is to simply substitute the physical activity you despise doing for something you actually enjoy. If you are one of the many that hate running, then don’t. Just like different flavors of food, not every kind of exercise fits everyone. If you hate the exercise you are gearing up to do, it’s more likely that you will skip doing it. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. However, they do not specify HOW you need to get that activity. Physical activity can take many shapes so try some of the things you loved growing up – hula hooping, jump roping, riding a bike, and so forth. These exercises can build great stamina and may actually get you thinking about other types of activity. Grab a friend or a loved one to join you when you can. The motivation someone else can give you can go a long way to hitting your fitness goals.
Working in physical activity can boost energy, help you sleep better, and assist in concentration throughout the work day. It’s time to lose the excuses because everyone benefits when you stay in shape. Start exercising like nobody is watching and do something you enjoy!