Do you understand the health benefits of exercise but have always struggled to maintain a routine?
Or do you not know where to get started in the first place?
If this sounds like you, you are in the right place!
If you struggle with exercise, it's possible to get more movement in your day with a few simple adjustments to your surroundings. And to illustrate this point, I will start with a story about a broken kitchen appliance.
About a month ago our food processor broke. Panic ensued. It was a much-loved kitchen appliance, one that we use daily for dishes like pesto and hummus.
Rather than running out to buy a new one, however, we decided to see what would happen if we didn't replace it. At least not right away. It seems like an unconventional choice when we live in a world where we can replace anything instantly, but stay with me here.
We used a little creativity to find ways to accomplish the same tasks through different means. The final result? Simple recipes became a little less convenient, but not any more time consuming than before. And much to our surprise the alternative options, like using a mortar and pestle to grind up walnuts, encouraged us to use a LOT of arm and grip strength for our food preparation.
Would life be a little easier by using an electronic appliance instead? Most certainly. But it's been several weeks and we still have not felt the need to run out and replace our food processor.
Instead, it lead us to think about other ways we trick ourselves into moving more by simply changing the tools we use or how we use them.
Ever considered how modern conveniences in your home might impact your health? Most of us haven't. We get excited to upgrade our tools into ones that require less work. But as we can see from the story above we lose a prime opportunity to use the incredible strength of our own body in the process.
Something as simple as switching from a manual can opener to an electric one forces us to take advantage of the opportunity use grip strength every time we open a can.
And on that note, wondering why you should care about your grip strength? Weak grip strength is related to a higher risk of heart disease because it is an indicator of overall strength. Generally, individuals who have a strong grip spend a lot of their day moving, which is helpful for heart and lung function.
What about using a mop instead of squatting with a rag on the floor? We deprive ourselves of the opportunity to use hip and knee strength and range of motion to squat down to clean the floor.
We can keep throwing plenty of examples your way, but the moral of the story is making more work for ourselves throughout the day probably does not cost us any more time but helps us gain health without setting aside time for "exercise".
If you have found yourself resistant to an "exercise" routine, start here! You'd be surprised how quickly you start to change your perspective to set your environment up for more movement opportunities.
Some places to start include:
And the best part? None of these involve a cost investment and can be started at any time. What simple changes can you make to your environment today?