The holidays are here and it’s time to ring in the good cheer and a happy (hopefully healthier) New Year!
With all the celebrations and obligations, it's easy for routines to get disturbed. As we make our resolutions for the new year, maintaining our old ones can slip through the cracks. Whether you are trying to train for a run or recover from an injury, regular consistent exercise is key to meeting your goal. Prioritizing your health over other demands can be overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t need to be!
Here are a few tips to ‘double dip’ and use necessary tasks as a way to work in exercise:
1: When running errands, park far away from the entrance of the building.
Not only will this give you an opportunity to get some more steps in your day, you are saving time by not driving around looking for a parking space and waiting for pedestrians to clear the paths.
2: Practice the squat pick up.
We all have clutter lying around that needs tidying. Use this opportunity to practice your squat form and pick up items one at a time. It may take a bit longer, but you just accomplished two goals! Putting clothes in and out of front loading machines is also a good way to get in a squatting position and stay there while you do the wash!
3: Long wait at check-out?
Tip toe in the queue! Practice heel raises or walk on your toes while standing in line. Instead of scrolling through social media, work on your calves and observe the environment around you. If you’re using a cart, hang on for some stability and try a single leg heel raise.
4: Take some extra trips on the stairs.
Live in a multi-level home or apartment? Go slowly and practice control. If you feel stable and safe, carry a full laundry basket up and down a couple of times for extra strength challenges.
5: Working from home? Create a mini-gym space in your office.
Purchase some hand weights, resistance bands and a physioball to keep at your desk. Set aside 5-10 minutes several times a day to sneak in some exercises. The movement will help clear your mind to perform better at work while checking exercise off your to do list!
6: Wake up early.
There will be times when you are tired and just want to go to bed. Listen to your body and tuck yourself in early. When you avoid the ‘second wind’ to help you stay up and answer emails at midnight, you can rest well and fall into your deep sleep zones easier. This will allow for better recovery and the ability to get up earlier, giving yourself some extra time to squeeze in a short walk, run or exercise session. No need to worry about that inbox because you have the aptitude to focus well after a refreshing morning walk and tackle the day.
7: Online exercises:
Although it is true that you get energy through connecting with other people in person, sometimes, life does not give time to commute to the gym or the PT office. In those cases, an online membership to expert coaches and PT’s is the next best option.
For more tips on how to get make time for movement, check out some tips from our Doctor of Physical Therapy, Stephanie Wakeman: