Part of this week we were on the road to visit a dear family member who is in the hospital. Driving on the highway during our eight-hour trip each way naturally made me think of the topic of Ways to Keep Moving at Home.
It’s natural to want to stay comfortable and relaxed, particularly at home, which of course is not a gym. But sometimes home life can become too cozy for folks who really need to use excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. And too much physical inactivity can do considerable harm, including increasing your risk for heart disease and cancer.
Sometimes efforts that seem insignificant can actually provide significant rewards. Several years ago, I had lower back pain. The physical therapist didn’t expect the set of exercises that are routinely recommended for such a problem to help me much. But I went ahead to give a try anyway. Every day after coming home from work, I lay on the carpet doing the moves the therapist had suggested for about 20 minutes while watching TV—my “cheerleader.” To my surprise and pleasure, my back pain disappeared 2-3 months later and has bothered me little since then.
Physical activity not only benefits you by helping you maintain a healthy weight while promoting good circulation and strengthening muscles, it is also a boon to your emotional well-being. It really pays off in the long run.
Staying active was a proven life-enhancer even in ancient times. During the Tang dynasty in China, the average lifespan was a little over 30. But China’s only female Emperor, Wu ZeTian, had amazing longevity, living for over 80 years. Staying physical active throughout her life was likely her secret. She was trained in multiple GongFu with her parents while growing up, and consistently practiced healthy QiGong. She also rode, shot, and was fond of other activities.
Since what was good way back then can still work wonders today, here are 8 ways to help you keep moving while at home:
1. Schedule a “move appointment” with yourself and commit to it.
2. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
3. Take a walk around the neighborhood, do jump rope in the yard, or try running up the stairs (but not too fast—be careful!). Have you ever done 20 rounds? If you can do that, you are probably in pretty good shape.
4. Exercise while watching TV, or dance around the living room with the music.
5. Walk to the local grocery or convenience store instead of driving.
6. Take your kids to the park or the pool, and play with them instead of watching them.
7. For fun and motivation, learn a new sport that you can play out in the garden or indoors.
8. Work in your yard or garden.
What keeps you moving at home? What can you add to the list? I would love to read your comments.
Photo credit: by Rance Costa