Research shows that if you are physically active for at least 7 hours a week, your risk for premature death is 40 percent less than that of someone who is inactive.
As you know, two of my daughters (one of the three has to work days.. poor girl!) and I have been enjoying the heck out of a walking routine since mid-May. The arrival of cool, rainy weather has presented a real problem for us, though. Even though I positively love this time of year, I wasn’t ready to give up our daily 45 minute walks. I had lost 16 pounds but, more importantly, felt better than I ever have. My asthma improved, I had more energy… but, yeah, the 16 pounds packing up and leaving is what made me feel the best.
Then God turned on the AC.
What worries me the most is that I know the implications. I bake more and, therefore, eat more during Autumn and Winter. If I’m unable to get 45 minutes of exercise each day, the 16 will come back and will, more likely than not, bring friends with it. Not a chance I’m willing to take. We’re saving up money for a treadmill which is totally the thing we need right now, but this is an impossible time of the year to save money! Not only are Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, two of our three daughters have birthdays during the last 3 months of the year. What are they thinking?!
Until the glorious day comes that we can lug a treadmill into our home, my girls and I have been challenged with finding ways to get our workouts in while we’re in. Emily has been exercising in her room each evening with wii fit and another exercise program. It must be effective, because when she comes through the house afterwards, she’s sweaty and has a nice glow about her.
My youngest daughter, Stephany, has her eye on an exercise dvd she wants to grab. I’ll pick a copy up for her if we see it in stores today.
“Nothing works until you do!” – Unknown
Both of these approaches are wonderful ways to workout indoors. Below are other tips and tools of the trade that I’ve quickly figured out:
A pedometer is a fantastic, inexpensive investment. I aim for 12,000 steps each day on my pedometer. Granted, it was much easier when I could get a 45 minute walk in each day, but I’ve found that it’s still very, very possible to get your step count up.
- Around the house, take the long route each time you move from room to room. When I’m putting away the laundry, I put one or two things up at a time, and I take the long route each time. I feel like Billy from Family Circus on one of his escapades!
- When you go to the store, if time allows, take 3 entire trips around the store before you even put the first thing in your basket.
- When you’re out and have a little time to kill, walk in the mall – even just 15 minutes get your step count up.
- Get up during commercials and walk around.
Wear exercise-ready clothes around the house. If you’re in a pair of tight jeans and a restricting top, you aren’t likely to be very mobile, but if you’re wearing warm-ups or stretchy fabric – you’ll be far more inclined to sneak in calorie-busting bouts of exercise.
Buy and use a great exercise book. I absolutely love Pilates for Every Body: Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone– With This Complete 3-Week Body Makeover by Denise Austin. I’ve tried lots of exercise books and this is one of the best. Another book I love is by the gorgeous Raquel Welch: Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. I lost my copy in one of our many moves, but I ordered another one from Amazon a few minutes ago. There are used copies for next to nothing.
My cat Alexa loves it when I get down on the floor with an exercise book – she thinks it’s playtime. And I guess it is!
Never underestimate housework. Vacuuming, dusting, moping, and all of these lovely activities are wonderful ways to get your exercise in. When you’re through, you have a beautiful house, a happy pedometer, and you’ve left hundreds of calories in the dust. Put on a little Motown or a favorite tv show and the time will zip by.
Exercise Videos are a lot of fun. Richard Simmons’ videos are always a blast and a half and The Biggest Loser and Prevention Magazine DVDs couldn’t be better.
Workout while watching television. Grab an exercise ball and a pair of dumbbells – commit to working out for the length of the television program. Not only will you burn calories and get fit, you won’t be doing the activity that most of us do while watching tv (eating!).
Most importantly, don’t make excuses! So what if it’s cold outside – it isn’t inside. Move your body like it’s never moved before because when it responds in ways that you want it to, it’s an amazing thing.
Finally, remember: Research shows that if you are physically active for at least 7 hours a week, your risk for premature death is 40 percent less than that of someone who is inactive. An hour a day – that’s all. And it doesn’t have to be all at once – walk at the mall (or department store) for 30 minutes, then rev up your housework for 30 later in the day.
Get moving. Buy a pedometer. No excuses.
Pedometer Shown: Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer