By Fitness Editor Paula Jager CSCS, owner of Crossfit Jaguar, Tampa FL
We’ve had quite a few posts on weight lifting, interval training and CrossFit exercise in general. If you’re already involved in a program like that good for you!! Keep on doing what you’re doing—I bet you feel & look great.
But what about a program or ideas for those that don’t want to put forth that much effort and commitment or the expense of joining a gym?
Is there an in between ground or something that they can do that requires less time and effort yet will still yield some positive results? And what about people facing health challenges that are physically not able to put forth that type of intensity?
Of course there is. . .
I tend to be a tad militant in my opinion on the subject and the amount of effort I feel someone should put forth and rarely tolerate excuses. However, everyone is not motivated by that type or persona and does not care to be that fit. Is something better than nothing? Yes, even minimal efforts can induce some results. Some specific examples are as simple as the following.
Grocery shopping: Most of us do this. To start, park a good distance from the entrance so that you will have a ways to walk both to and fro the store. I have 2 pet peeves when I go grocery shopping. The first one being seemingly healthy people having the bag person wheeling their groceries out to the car. Seriously, folks?
I realize they are being paid a wage by the store but they’re not your servants. Wheel the cart out to your vehicle which you parked a considerable distance and put the groceries into it. Cases of water, bags of cat litter or dog food and the like are great functional items for you to bend down and put into your vehicle. Good use of the legs, upper body and core. Then you also get to carry them into your house when you get home. And the second—please bring the buggy back. Walk it back into the store and place it inside. Don’t leave it in an empty parking space for your “servant” to get. There are more important things they can do to make the store better for you.
Laundry: Yet another chore most of us must attend to. How about 10 squats every time you put in a load in the washer, 15 sit ups every time you put a load in the dryer and 10 push ups each time you put a load away. Can’t do a full push up? No problem, keep the core tight and in a rigid line from shoulders to ankles and do them off a dresser or even off the bed for a slightly unstable surface.
Working outside the home: Many of us are stuck inside an office all day and have sedentary jobs. Again, park a distance from the entrance—the walk will do you good. If you are fortunate enough to have stairs, use them in lieu of the elevator. Take several short “exercise breaks” throughout the day. In between meetings, calls or projects knock out sets of 10-15 squats and lunges. Do push ups and dips off your desk. Pick up a paper weight or object weighing 10 to 30# and do swings to strengthen the lower back. Stretch out your hamstrings by placing a leg up on your chair and bending forward. Do a series of neck and shoulder stretches seated or standing to reliever some stress and tension. Practice deep breathing exercises periodically. You’ll be surprised how this will help you de stress, improve mental clarity and lead to increased productivity.
Working inside the home: Much easier for you to be active; make a “game” out of housework, vacuum with gusto, if you have stairs make extra trips up and down them each day. If you have a yard or garden, get out on your hands and knees, get dirty and connect with the earth.
Clean out those closets you’ve been meaning to. Reorganize your furniture for a new look or clean out the garage. Getting rid of clutter will also help clear the mind. On the weekends when I am home actively cooking, doing laundry and other tasks I rarely sit until late afternoon or evening. Being active and busy are great ways to get in some low level activity not to mention get things done.
Watching TV: Minimize the amount of time spent in front of it and lose the remote. Most people sit at least 10 feet from the television to watch it. Getting up and down to change the channel could get you several bouts of movement in despite the short distance. You could even lunge to the set, change the channel and lunge back to the couch. Every bit counts—20 jumping jacks every time you change the channel or walk to the refrigerator.
Another idea is to get one of those big exercise balls and gently bounce for 20 minutes while you are mindlessly flipping the channels after dinner. Do this for a few weeks and you will definitely notice the difference in your quads and backside.
Playing with your children: go to the park with them, play with them if you are able, make it fun, brings games, play ball and discourage over use of video games, computers and television. You must join them and set the example if you expect them to follow in your healthy footsteps.
It all adds up folks. You may not look like the cover of a fitness magazine or win a local competition, but I seriously doubt that is your goal anyway! In your own life, however, these little things will definitely help you feel better, look better, sleep better, have improved energy and notice improvement in your activities of daily living and life in general. That’s really what ultimately counts after all!
Now get moving !
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar.
Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results