Variety is the spice of life
… and movement and exercise
Ideally we should incorporate the 4 following aspects into our fitness routine:
- Cardio/Aerobic (e.g., walking, jogging, running, dancing)
- Strength/Resistance (e.g., resistance machines, kettle bell, pilates, weightlifting, yoga)
- Flexibility/Stretching (e.g., yoga, pilates, matwork, stretches)
- Balance (e.g., yoga, tai chi, qi gong, bosu ball, dancing)
Remember that fitness and health are not just defined by a high heart rate from cardio. Strength and resistance training keeps our bones and muscles strong as we age. Stretching keeps our joints moving as well as our muscles. And balance is important as we age to help prevent falls and injury.
So yes, do activities you like to do but try to do different things to incorporate these 4 elements.
Informal exercises you can do
Vacuuming lunges and toothbrush squats
Some time ago Dr. Michael Mosley did a television programme called “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”. One episode showed a group of people doing a variety of exercises at home with household objects. I found the before and after results amazing.
Have a look and see if there are not some exercises here that you can incorporate into your daily routine. It all helps.
(They also offer a downloadable guide).
Pick something you like to do
Aim to get some movement into your daily life – and that doesn’t have to mean going to a gym and running on a treadmill. A dance class, walking the dog, gardening, or even cleaning house can count toward your daily movement.
Anything that you like to do that can get your heart rate up and that you can do consistently.
Living an Active Lifestyle
The Power of Movement
You can make big improvements to your health and energy levels by making small and deliberate healthy lifestyle choices that involve moving more every day. Many people feel daunted by the thought of changing their lives and starting a new routine to be more active, but there are only a few key tips to remember to be successful:
What is something you love? Make the things you love part of your activity plan.
Attach activity to regular habits.
Whether it’s going to work, cooking dinner, getting the mail, or brushing your teeth, any habit can be an opportunity to move. Try doing a one-minute wall-sit every time you brush your teeth; or practice dance steps while cooking dinner; or lift your bag over your head every time you go into your house.
Swap sitting at the coffeeshop for walks, and go around the block while catching up with a friend.
Having pleasant audio input can make exercise more fun and rewarding.
Rather than thinking of movement as calisthenics or a workout, challenge yourself to be inventive with your active living. Do an extra lap around the supermarket. Stand while watching a television show, instead of sitting.
If you have a sedentary day, let it go. Don’t overwork the next day or punish yourself—just try to be active every day! Encourage yourself the way you would encourage your best friend. It is about progress, not perfection.
Track your progress.
Consider using a pedometer app on your phone or purchasing a simple pedometer and have fun with it. Striving for 10,000 steps a day is recommended. However, some is better than none. See how it goes.
(The Institute for Functional Medicine)