Tip #3: Get your body moving!
Of course, we couldn’t go through a series about how to have a happier and healthier life without talking about exercise, right? All doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and counselors can at least agree on this one thing: Regular exercise will lead to a healthier and happier you! There is just no way around it.
If you are looking to diversify your workout routine, or just to get motivated to have one at all, I have some perfect resources for you that will help with just that! Before I share them, though, let’s take a minute to talk about why exercise is so important to getting (and staying) healthy and happy.
One of my favorite quotes that I ever heard on a workout DVD (and I have done many DVD’s by now) was this:
“Energy creates energy!
We’re trying to create some here!”
The aerobics instructor smiled as she said this. The idea is that in order to GET energy, you actually need to RELEASE energy. It may seem counter-intuitive but if you workout regularly you know this to be true. A good workout actually give you more energy. It does not take it away.
Even just a half hour to one hour work out will rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit! A simple 30-45 minute walk each day will do all of these things for you and more:
- Strengthen your heart
- Strengthen your body
- Alleviate symptoms of depression
- Lubricate your joints making other activities easier to tackle
- Help prevent cancer
- Help prevent type 2 diabetes!
The truth is most health problems you have can be helped with a good daily walk! You will never regret a great workout! The benefits are immediate and long-lasting all at the same time.
Is it hard for you to find room in your schedule to workout?
Okay, so maybe you are one of those people who has a hard time sneaking in a 30-60 minute work out 3-5 times a week. (I get it! I have been there.)
If we think that the only way to exercise is at a gym using machines, we are fooling ourselves, so today I thought I would share a few practical ways you can sneak in some extra exercise without having to rearrange your whole day around the workout.
The only bad work out is the one that didn’t happen, so let’s find some smart ways we can pack a little extra exercise into our day.
5 ways to get more exercise when you don’t have the time or motivation to work out.
1. Get up during commercial breaks.
Whenever your favorite television program breaks for commercials, try to fit in a few exercises before the show comes back on. Here are a few you might want to try:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sits
- Leg lifts
- Running up and down the stairs
You can even alternate between some of the things listed. Better yet, some people put their treadmill, stationary bikes, weights or other exercise equipment in the same room as their TV and they do their workout while they watch their favorite show!
2. Go outside and work in the yard.
Some people LOVE to be outside working in their yard. Others of us could use a gentle reminder (I am speaking to myself here) that getting outside is good for us! So, here’s my gentle little reminder to you just in time for Spring… Working outdoors has many health benefits! 🙂
Besides getting a strong and healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun, once you are outside you will start to notice things… beautiful things… like the flowers, birds, and sky… and important things… like the work that needs to be done. 🙂
Before you know it, you will be pulling weeds and picking up sticks. You might even be inspired to mow the yard or trim the bushes. Any work outside is good work. Don’t have a yard to take care of? How about helping a friend with their yard?
Speaking of friends, my neighbor describes working outside in her yard as being therapeutic for her. There is something very rewarding about taking care of the things around you and making the space around you look nicer, isn’t there?
3. Make the most out of your time in the kitchen.
Let’s face it, as much as I try to make our MPM recipes as simple as possible, some of our dinners take a little bit longer to cook than others. How about making use of the extra time when you are waiting for the food to cook by doing some low impact exercises at the kitchen counter? Here are a couple you might want to try:
Leg lifts, lunges, or squats are perfect in the kitchen.
Hold the counter with one hand as you do leg lifts, lunges or squats. There are a couple of ways you can do leg lifts. One way is to simply lift a leg, one at a time, to the front, side or to the back. To a back leg lift just lift one leg at a time back to a 90-degree angle and then pulse the leg up to the ceiling. Lean in toward the counter and keep your chest close to the counter for this one so you don’t hurt your back and so your butt stabilizes the movement while your leg does the work.
Standing push-ups are great to do at a kitchen counter.
Another exercise that is perfect for the kitchen is a standing pushup. To do a pushup, face the counter at about an arm’s length distance. Let gravity lean you towards the counter bending at the elbows and then push yourself back to standing using your arms. The farther you step away from the counter, the harder it’s going to be. This should be a slow and controlled movement.
Knee Lifts with a twist.
Another little exercise I love to do when I am waiting in the kitchen is an easy knee lift. I just start by walking in place and then start lifting my knees higher and higher with each “step”, bringing my knees into my chest. You can actually turn this move into a “standing crunch” by bringing your arms up and then down again with each step, allowing your elbows to just barely touch your knees when they come up. When you are comfortable, you may want to a little twist at your trunk making the elbow touch the opposite knee, which will target your waistline too.
4. Call up a friend, or family member, and ask them to go for a walk.
This is my personal favorite. Some weeks it’s just as hard to squeeze in time with friends as it is to squeeze in time to exercise. I absolutely love when I get to combine the two. I find that I take much longer walks when I have a great friend to talk to, because we get so caught up in our conversation that we don’t want to stop. Time flies when you are having fun, I guess.
Lately my friend and I bring our daughters along and they walk and talk together at the same time we are! Then, there are other times I go for a walk with my daughter or my husband. Besides getting a nice light exercise in, it’s a joy to spend quality time together. It’s amazing how easy conversation flows as you walk side-by-side.
Don’t have a friend who can exercise at the same time as you? No problem. Sometimes I take my iPad to the YMCA so I can read an ebook from it as I work out on the elliptical machine. Other times I listen to a podcast while I go for a walk. These types of things make the time go by faster for me and I feel better when I am multi-tasking.
If you are looking for a great podcast to listen to Susie Larson is a radio host who does show called “Live the Promise” with Faith Radio. She is my all-time favorite. Faith Radio actually has an app that can put on your phone too, making it super easy to go for a walk outside as you listen to a show.
5. Jump on the Suzanne Bowen Fitness train.
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to work out. Suzanne is a fun, sweet, encouraging mom who creates TONS of workouts that you can follow along with. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, there is something in her stash of workouts that will be perfect for you!
Some of her workouts take as little as 5-10 minutes, and some go much longer. The beauty of her program is you can enter in what you are looking for and all the workouts that fall under those categories will pull up for you to choose from.
For instance, last week I wanted to sneak in a quick workout. I wanted it to be low impact, about 10 minutes, and for it not to require any equipment. I plugged in my “requirements” and I found the perfect video. Ten minutes may not sound like much, but boy did she pack it in. My legs literally hurt for two whole days afterward, which my husband had to remind me was a good thing. 😉
Suzanne Bowen’s workouts are one of my favorite resources from the 2018 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. (see below for more on that)
The Ultimate Homemaking (and fitness) Bundle.
You will have access to these resources (and many more) in your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle:
*Suzanne Bowen Fitness 3 Month Subscription by Suzanne Bowen ($44.97)
Suzanne Bowen will quickly become your go-to fitness instructor. You can literally find a great workout no matter how much time you have, what intensity you want, where you are, and what equipment you have. There is literally something for everyone in every circumstance with Suzanne Bowen’s workouts. She even has sweet little workouts with her daughter that are perfect for moms who want to do a workout with their daughters. (I loved that!)
*My Yearly Self Care Planner by Betsy Kay ($9.99)
Besides being cute, this planner will make you feel more in charge of your health. There is just something about seeing everything on paper that triggers something in your mind. It’s like you want to fill the paper out so it motivates you to do the work just so you can fill out the paper, if that makes sense. (maybe that’s just me)
*Healthy Moving Focus Class Bundle by Jen Hoffman ($49.97)
Jen’s advice is super, duper practical. Her philosophy is that if you weave health and fitness into your everyday routine, it will create consistency and you will have great results. This one is PERFECT for anyone who says they don’t have time to work out.
*Balance Virtual Bootcamp by Karen Shopoff Rooff ($47.00)
Balance Virtual Bootcamp is an in-home exercise program designed by an experienced certified personal trainer that delivers three efficient, effective workouts per week for six weeks right to your email inbox.
These four resources alone would normally cost you $151.93, but you can get the whole Homemaking Bundle right now for just $29.97!
I am sure you can’t wait to dive into these fitness resources, and I don’t blame you! The good news is you don’t have to! These are just four of 129 ebooks, ecourses and printables in the Homemaking Bundle, that is valued at over $3,600!
Click HERE to purchase this awesome bundle!
This was tip #3 in our series of “5 Tips to a Healthier and Happier Life”.
If you missed tip #1 and #2, you can find them here:
Tip #1: Learn Something New Everyday.
Tip #2: How to Bounce Back when you Feel Discouraged or Disappointed.
That’s all for today! Be sure to check back tomorrow for tip #4 in our series of “5 Tips to a Healthier and Happier Life”!