Exercise without exercising (Part 2)

As much as we all like to think that we need to spend an hour in the gym everyday, the truth is that making an effort to up your activity in small bursts throughout the day can also prove effective. A daily trip to the gym can often feel like a massive sacrifice, and while it is one that we should gladly make, sometimes at the end of the day all you want to do is crash. Life in general, work and kids can take a serious toll on energy levels and sometimes it is harder to muster up the energy for exercise than it is to find the time to do it, especially when we leave it for the end of the day instead of getting it done in the morning. In anticipation of the times when we are likely to feel like giving the gym a skip, it makes sense to start taking a few minutes here and there throughout the day to incorporate a little activity into your daily schedule. In itself these changes might make a huge difference when it comes to sustainability, and even if you are one of those gloriously together people who manages to fit in a daily workout there is certainly no harm in adding a little extra activity to your day.

Here are some more ways to get your muscles moving and your blood pumping without hitting the gym.

Stop looking for the perfect parking spot.

You’ve heard this one a hundred times, now start doing it. Instead of parking right near the entrance of whatever building you happen to need to enter, park a block away. It’s just a block. And as you walk towards your destination, make sure you feel it in your calves and thighs. And breathe deeply because fresh air is glorious!

Take the stairs.

You’ve heard this one a hundred times too. So why do you keep getting into the elevator? Stairs are good for your bum. Good bums are good for when you go shopping for jeans. Finding a good pair of good jeans to fit your good bum is good for your soul. So take the stairs!

Touch your toes.

If you don’t have time for a full workout then do a few stretches. You can do stretches while in your office (wearing your office clothes) and you shouldn’t work up too much of a outfit-ruining sweat. Touch your toes. Stretch your legs. Stretch your neck. Stretch your arms. Practice your downward dog.

Become twitchy.

Things like toe-tapping and finger-drumming burn calories. Ok, so it might be a rather minuscule amount of calories but a tiny amount is better than none at all. Such activity also serves to regulate your body if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or overstimulated.

Stand more often.

Converting your desk to a standing work station might be pushing things a little far, but try standing whenever you have the option, like while you are on the phone or while you are in a reception area waiting to be called in for an appointment.

Breathe.

Breathing deeply burns calories. Breathing deeply helps to circulate blood through your body which in turn increases your metabolism. And you don’t need to go to a yoga class to breathe! Just do it while you are driving or while you are sitting at your desk.

See? Was that so hard?

 

Exercise without exercising (Part 1)

When I was a kid there was a Ricoffey advert on television where (if you’ll forgive my gross paraphrasing) there was a woman who was making a cup of coffee while getting ready to go to the gym. Her toddler watched her as she did this, looking very sad and in need of some mommy time. The woman then takes a sip of her coffee and you can see that she has been struck with an idea. In the next scene she is on her front lawn playing with her kid and basically using him as gym equipment.

I always kind of thought that advert was great. We often joke about how ridiculous it is to drive to the gym so that we can walk on a treadmill, and yet “going to the gym” is often our sole benchmark for working out. Don’t get me wrong, the gym is great (especially when it is hot out and they have the air conditioner blowing!) but sometimes it’s kind of nice to skip the gym and do something different.

And let’s be honest for a second: some of us hate the gym. Some of us run screaming in the opposite direction at the mere mention of organized fitness. Some of us need to be active without knowing that we’re being active. Of course boycotting the gym and fitness classes won’t get you a spot on any of those bodybuilding competitions, but that doesn’t really matter if your goal is to simply live a healthier and more active lifestyle. There are ways to be active without forcing yourself to become a fitness fanatic. If you are a fitness fanatic – great! You can use these tips to shake things up a little. But if you aren’t one, that’s ok too, because being active doesn’t have to be all about spinning classes or joining a jogging group.

For today let’s just start with one suggestion. I will share some more in the next few posts to come. But for today, let’s just do one.

Go to the beach!

There is something about being at the beach (or anywhere that is naturally beautiful – a park/botanical garden/nature reserve/hiking trail/farm) that just forces you to walk around. You can’t help it! Going for a walk around your neighbourhood might not be all that appealing but take a visit to the beach and you will find yourself strolling along the water’s edge in no time. Of course, it may be best to pick up the pace to something a little more intense than a stroll (in which case you might consider climing a sand dune in order to pick up the pace) but anything higher than a sedentary rate can only be good for you. Walking not only raises your heart rate but it is great stress reliever too. Very few things clear a cluttered mind as much as a nice long walk.

They say that in order to feel grounded you should take off your shoes and let your feet touch the earth. Where better to do that than on one of our beautiful beaches?

New: Cappuccino Shake Flavour

So we have GREAT NEWS for all the coffee lovers around here: It turns out that the absolutely delightful cappuccino flavoured Formula 1 Shake is FINALLY available in South Africa.

My family has been a tiny bit addicted to this particular flavour for a while now. As you may know, not all products are available in all Herbalife countries, and this coffee-scented delight has been the one at the top of our I-Hope-This-Comes-To-SA-Next list for quite some time. The excitement is high!

We’ve been grabbing a tin or two every time we find ourselves in a Cappuccino Shake country for years now. When Anthony and Matt were doing work in Ghana I think they might have been disowned had they not brought these babies home with them each time they came back for visit!

So, don’t delay. Get in touch with your favourite Herbalifer today and insist that you get your hands on a New Cappuccino Formula 1 Shake.

It will just give you another excuse to start your day right!

Herbalife Whispers

I was at an event at The Grand Hotel over this last weekend and I decided to sit in the quiet reception area and wait for the rest of my party to arrive before getting lost in the throngs of people at the registration desk. While I was sitting there just quietly taking a breath, I couldn’t help but overhear two women opposite me whispering to each other. What were they whispering? Well, they were talking to each other about the Herbalife meal bars, and how convenient they found them to be.

Now honestly these women must have thought I was a bit mad (maybe that’s why they got up and left after a while?) but every now and then I’d glance up from my obvious eavesdropping and smile as if I knew them. Of course, I didn’t know them, but I did know their feelings.

 

The thing is, I know full well how important convenience is when it comes to self care. Basically they were saying “I’m not very good at looking after myself well, but I’m doing this thing and it’s a step in the right direction”. Why did I know that’s what they meant? Because I recognise the feeling all too well. I’m sure many of us do. In the midst of the chaos of life, sometimes doing something ass simple as feeding yourself something good can make all the difference.

Perhaps I should have butted in on their moment with my own tales of saving convenience. Maybe I should have piped up and let them know that I too am terrible when it comes to skipping meals. I didn’t though. They obviously already have someone in their life looking after their Herbalife needs. They hardly need my input.

So instead of butting in I just revelled in the glorious fortune of overhearing the whispered relief of two fellow Herbalife consumers, and took a moment to once again be grateful to be part of this incredible company.