UHC Advice: Creative Ways to get Exercise

The Flex Challenge. Can you flex your abs? rear end? pull your shoulders back? Challenge yourself to do this each time something happens. For example, flex your abs every time you walk through a door. Or if you’re driving, flex your rear end every time you turn. Get creative with it and have some fun.

An extra flight of stairs. If you have stairs in your home, you have a great tool to add exercise. A couple times a day, when you are headed up (or down) the stairs to get something, go up and down one extra time. Pretty easy.

The dog. If you are blessed with a dog, you have a super easy way to add exercise to your life. If a walk around the block is just too much for you (because you don’t want to get dressed, put on shoes, and go through the effort) just chase your dog around your house. Add a toy. It’s fun, exhausting, and no one has to see you do it.

Dance. While you’re getting dressed in the morning, put on some music that makes you want to dance. Instead of walking to the closet, kitchen, bathroom – you can dance. You can do this in privacy and it’s a great way to start the day.

5-minute clean. Set the timer (on your oven or cell phone) for 5 minutes. Now, pick-up and clean as much as you can in your house. That means you might need to run to the living room and then run to your bedroom to put stuff away. Having a timer will motivate you to get as much done in 5 minutes as possible. That will make you move faster which will get you moving.

Counter-top push-ups. Every time you go to the bathroom in your home, do a set of what I call counter-top push-ups. Stand back, put your hands on the edge of the counter, and do some half push-ups. Start with a set of 5 and see how many you can get up to. It only takes a few seconds and you’re there anyway, so you might as well do something for yourself other than relieve your bladder.

Cell phone flexibility. While you’re chatting on the phone with your friends and family, you probably don’t want to be doing something that will put you out of breath, so do simple stretching, squats, lunges, wall-sits, or whatever simple exercises you can think of. You don’t have to just sit there while you’re talking on the phone. You can actually move around you know!

Replace the recliner. Replace the recliner with a stationary bike. Even if you bike super slow, it’ll be more movement than if you were just sitting on the couch or recliner. And find a comfy one so you’ll actually sit on it.

Remember Jumping Jacks? See how many you can do during one or two commercials while you’re watching television. Have a lazy roommate or spouse? Challenge them to see who can do more.

Arm wrestle. Both arms and with as many people who are willing to do it. It’s silly. And it’s okay to be silly!

Race. Going somewhere? Leaving somewhere? Park in the back and race your partner to the front. You might look silly, but you’ll also look hot when you lose a couple pounds. It’s fun! And it’s okay to be silly!!

Get a treat. If you sometimes go to get a treat with your partner – coffee, slurpee, ice-cream, any tasty treat – do it. But instead of driving there. Walk. It gives you a destination (which is easier than just going for a walk for exercise); it gives you a reward; you have to finish the walk to get home; you have a tasty treat for the way home; and you have someone to talk to – which makes it less like exercise and more like social time.

Be creative! You can take almost any activity you do in your life, and add some extra movement, flexing, and exercise. Just start thinking about it. How long can you hold both your legs up in the air while sitting at your desk at work?

Have fun and challenge yourself. If you’ve noticed, a lot of these items are silly! And that’s okay! Have fun and challenge yourself to add movement and activity into your life in as many ways as possible. Make silly competitions with your partner, challenge yourself to add more, do more, move more. And you will start feeling and seeing a difference in your body. It’s amazing how powerful small steps can be – because a small step is better than no step!

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