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?

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