Late-night trip to the Joe’s:
I needed some things for the Pilot’s lunches, a bottle of wine for the wives’ coffee tonight, and most importantly, some of these:
I had to eat eggs with a fork instead of pinched up into a tortilla yesterday and the day just wasn’t the same:
Impulse buys were kept to a minimum:
(I hoard lotion- my collection is almost as intense as my candle obsession)
and while I was grocery shopping, I thought about a conversation the Pilot and I had last time we were at Trader Joe’s. I was telling him that I was so excited about our weekly farm box, because it would cut wayyyy down on grocery shopping time. Liv and I usually spend a little while in the produce section inspecting fruits and veggies -I’m especially picky about grapes and tomatoes- and all of that time: in my pocket from now on.
When I told him, he said:
Imagine if you could just click your Trader Joe’s order into the computer and have it waiting for you when you got there.
I said it would be awesome, but that automation is a huge reason why so many adults are inactive and unhealthy- we don’t need to work as hard as our ancestors did. We can sit in a chair clicking buttons to make things happen around us. We’re seated as we commute, work at a desk, and maybe grocery shopping is one of the little activities that can add up to create a healthier lifestyle.
He had a great point in saying that maybe if someone had a restricted amount of time and could pick up their groceries ready to go, instead of having to spend time walking around the store, they would have to workout or go to the gym: extra free time —> extra ability to move.
It’s interesting to think about… automation helps us in so many ways, but can also hinder our active lifestyles.
I thought it would be fun to talk about little ways to move throughout the day or get in extra activity. Even if you’re busy, little blasts of exercise or movement is much better than nothing, and it all adds up.
Here are 10 of my favorites:
1) Take the dog for a walk. I look forward to walking Bell every day, and Liv loves riding in the jogging stroller as we stroll around the neighborhood. It’s great exercise for Bell, a little extra movement for me, and a change of scenery for Liv.
2) Get up from your desk for a stretch or little errand. Here are some of my favorite stretches, and you could also take a quick walk to drop off paperwork or mail, or fill up your water bottle. It’s a good chance to refresh your brain and give your eyes a rest when you’ve been staring at a computer screen for longer than an hour, too.
3) Have a dance party. This is one of my favorites, even more so now that I have someone to join in with me and thinks it’s hilarious. Put on some Zumba music (or whatever makes you want to mueve your bom bom) while you cook dinner as a fun way to unwind from the day.
4) Window shop. I absolutely love walking around the mall (or Target, World Market, Bed, Bath and Beyond…). Even though I don’t usually make purchases it’s a safe, air-conditioned (<– crucial in Tucson) place to get in some extra movement.
5) Make a game out of it. The Pilot said while he was deployed, in the office they had a pull-up bar in the doorway. Everytime someone left the office, they had to do 10 pull-ups. Add a pull-up bar or stability ball (great for sit-ups or crunches) to your office and make a little game out of it- who knows how many extra strength exercises you’ll be able to get in during the day 🙂
6) Get in a lunchtime workout. Even if you meet up with a coworker for a quick walk, remember that something is always better than nothing. When I worked a 40-hour a week desk job (in the finance department at one of the hospitals here), I found that if I ate lunch at my desk and powered through, it was a tougher afternoon for me. I always felt energized and focused when I took a lunch break, even if it was short, and just got in a little movement. Short and effective options: Tabata training or HIIT
7) Use the stairs. This may seem like a generic tip, but actually USE the stairs as part of your mini workout- they’re fantastic for step ups, calf raises, or elevated lunges.
8) Wear a pedometer. I learned a couple of weeks ago that just the act of wearing a pedometer triggers your subconscious to get in as much extra walking as possible. Those who wear pedometers walk an average of a mile more each day. You burn about 100 calories per mile (give or take based on age, fitness level and body composition), 100 x 7 days = 700 calories per week; 3500 calorie deficit is one pound of weight lost / 700 calories each week = in 5 weeks you could lose 1 lb, just from wearing a pedometer.
9) Set up a fitness plan. Having a plan is the greatest way to encourage success, so if you schedule out time to move each day, you’ll be more likely to make it happen. Be flexible and patient with yourself, of course, but having an idea of what you want to accomplish that week is a great action plan to achieve your health and fitness goals.
10) Stand. You burn more calories standing than sitting (up to 50 more each hour), so see if there’s a way you could perform some of your work standing or even bouncing on a physioball.
What are some of your favorite ways to get in extra activity? Chasing a very mobile 9-month old always does the trick 😉
What do you think about the impact of automation on activity levels??