The pandemic showed many of us that we had to get creative with our fitness outside of a gym or group workout setting. When gyms and fitness centers were closed, many people were left wondering what they were going to do to stay fit and keep working on their health. Many ingenious methods were created to combat this problem, and it helped open up a new realm of home fitness that I personally loved seeing. Fitness is an important part of our lives, or at least should be, and it’s vital to keep moving for both our mental and physical health. Even though restrictions for gym and fitness centers have lifted, we want to highlight some of our favorite ways to add in extra movements throughout the day to keep yourself physically fit.
1. Skip Escalators and Elevators
This is one of the easiest changes to make when moving around in the community. Most places that have access to an elevator or escalator, they’ll have a set of stairs that accompany this due to fire safety reasons. Simply take the stairs anywhere you go, and you will be moving around more than you’re used to. If you like to journal, make a “Daily Win” page and keep track of how many times you chose the stairs over machinery that does the work for you. I bet you’ll be surprised with what that page, and you, look like if you stay consistent over a month.
2. Go for More Walks
Walking is a generally easy activity to do and does not add too much stress onto our bodies. Taking some time throughout the day to go on a walk or two is a great way to add in more activity. It has been shown to help assist with blood glucose level control after eating and is important for individuals with diabetes who are trying to improve their health.2 As an option to increase the challenge of these walks, you can predetermine a distance or time to walk before you take a break to complete another fitness task. These tasks can include, but are not limited to: air squats, push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and the list goes on. The options are only limited by your imagination.
3. Plant a Garden
The process of planting a garden can be a good task to get someone moving and get them outside. Plants will require steady attention and care, which will further increase the amount of activity you have on a consistent basis. If you plan on creating a garden that can produce fruits and veggies, you will save money on groceries, as well. We have a few clinicians in our area that go to a community garden, and this is a great way to meet people with similar goals and attributes. It would be worth it to see if your city has something similar.
4. Workout with a Group
Research has shown that group exercise classes foster a community that breeds adherence, and is better than self-motivation in some cases. It makes sense that when others are sharing the same goal, they will help lift each other up in downtimes and help the group move forward. It makes it easier to add activity to your daily routine when you have a group relying on you and pushing you; in essence, holding you accountable. Group exercise adherence has been suggested to be 70%, even after a program has been completed.
Getting more movement throughout the day can be a daunting task if you have been sedentary for a while. Be sure to understand that just a few minutes a day can have a positive impact and is a win to celebrate. If you are noticing some restrictions keeping you from being as active as you want, reach out to your local Physical Therapist at The Medical Group of South Florida to schedule an assessment.