Feeling “blah” and not wanting to workout? Know that Canadian Physical Activity, and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines state that “To achieve health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.”(1) But still can’t find the motivation? Getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity is great, but just getting moving each day and limiting sedentary activity can still offer many health benefits. Don’t think that fitness just means going to the gym! There are plenty of other options out there.
Here a few ideas that get you moving and out of your funk, that aren’t necessarily the gym: (Okay, one of them is… Don’t hold it against me!)
-Housework: Double the benefits! While it may only be light physical activity, it means getting off the couch and getting moving, which is better than watching trashy TV for an hour. Not only that, the house gets cleaned at the same time! So break out the vacuum, Windex, and squeegees and get cleaning!
-Gardening: Similar to house cleaning, gardening is light physical activity. As long as care is taken when bending down and lifting objects (brace the core, use the bigger muscles, like if you were doing a deadlift or squat) and use padding for knees if kneeling for a while, gardening can provide physical activity benefits. Bonus, a weeded garden!
-Sign up for a class at your gym: Can’t be bothered to create a workout? Know that 15 minutes in, that next squat just won’t happen? Signing up for a class at a local gym can be the answer! Someone else creates the workout, you just need to show up and do the work. Whether a spin class, circuit training or yoga, being told what to do can take the need for creativity out of the equation and put the focus back on living a healthy lifestyle.
-Dance: Get your groove on! Pump the tunes and get moving! Easiest way is to either to put on a playlist and shimmy throughout the house (my personal favorite is to put on a high tempo dance playlist while doing dishes). Two left feet? Find a local studio for a tester class or a community event that offers drop in dancing. It also a great way to brush up on a life skill!
-Play with your pet: I sometimes call my puppy “My Fitness Plan”. He needs at least two 30 minutes walks/playtimes a day, and it’s a great way for me to get moving too. Whether walking through my community or playing fetch on the beach, it means not sitting at my computer and getting moving.
-Go throw the ball around! Find the ball gloves or footie ball! A great idea to do with friends, kids or a partner (plus physical activity benefits for everyone!), throwing or kicking a ball around means that physical activity doesn’t have to be boring! Take time to do a short warm up (leg swings, arm swings/circles, high knees, butt kick) to avoid pulling a muscle, then get at it.
So get out there and move! Happy Physical Fitness!