Turn your Daily Grind into a Meaningful Workout

By on July 1, 2013

By David Novak –

If you loathe going to the gym every morning or every night, or if the thought of going to the gym and working out in general makes you cringe, you may be in luck. By taking simple steps and being active in what you normally do every day, you can get the daily dose of exercise you need. Many fitness experts suggest that just 30-minutes of physical activity a day will help you control your weight, keep your blood sugar at an optimal level and maintain a healthy heart. This says nothing of the fact that physical activity will also boost your self-esteem, appearance and general well-being.

So how do you fit a rigorous exercise in every day? Modern fitness techniques now suggest that maybe working out until your heart pounds out of your chest may not be the best method. In fact, too much rigorous exercise not only can damage your muscles and bones, but could also contribute to nerve damage and too much strain on your heart. Bottom line, it’s not natural to work out to extremes. Rather, moderation is the key. The cave people and native Indians didn’t have to workout, so why are we convinced that the only way we’ll get a meaningful workout is if we kill ourselves? It’s simply a misnomer, and one that has carried over from the mid-1970s.

You can actually keep yourself fit with these tips below, and these suggestions are those you can accomplish everyday, without a gym membership and without equipment. Additionally, if time is an issue, you can do these activities and exercises throughout the day without disrupting the other things you have to get done during a normal week.

Daily Activity Counts!
The good news is that most daily deeds, (this includes errands, walking, lifting, squatting and anything else that requires energy) qualify as exercise. From parking far away from your destination and walking to your car, to simple in-place sprints for 30-seconds behind your desk at the office, to taking a few flights of stairs up to your apartment, simple tasks can get your blood pumping and your body moving. So instead of trying to cram in a workout at 5am before work, find three 10-minute tasks to do during the course of a day. Do “standing wall push-ups”. These are essentially push-ups against a wall, and are great for the chest, not to mention the fact that they offer muscle-building benefits for your chest, arms, and shoulders. Chest exercises, in general, are probably the most encompassing, effective exercises you can do because they work a bunch of muscles. A firm and fit chest also helps you look your best, and lowers your risk for diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. On top of all that, while you improve your look, you lift your mood as well.

Another easy no-equipment exercise you can practice is isometric contractions, where for one solid minute, you are contracting every muscle in your body and holding it. You can also do leg squats or calf raises while you’re brushing your teeth. Ideas like these are just as valuable to your fitness as curling a dumbbell.  Get outside when possible for fresh air, and chances are, you’ll find yourself getting more exercise than ever thought you could.

Incorporate Cardio Walking
Besides the above fitness activities, if you want to step it up a level, add some steps to your daily activities. Buy a $10 pedometer, and see if you can walk 10,000 steps a day. You’ll be surprised that with a little conscious effort, you’ll be able to achieve this every day, without a problem. Put away the TV remote and get up to change channels, or simply march in place while you watch your nightly show or movie. If you’re stuck at the office, take a fast walk around the office or around your building.

As you can see, you don’t need a fitness club to get a workout. With a little creativity, you can get as much exercise around the places you’re already at or have to travel to without requiring a treadmill or weights. You’ll see what a difference some little steps can make every day.

 

David Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries.  He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline.com. For more information, visit Healthline

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Turn your Daily Grind into a Meaningful Workout