Regular readers will know I hate the “E” word. I hate EXERCISE.
EXERCISE sounds like such a boring chore. Snoresville. Hard work. It’s like that word “medicine” …straight away I don’t want to take any.
Well, I don’t want to take exercise either. There I said it. I hate exercise.
I can be persuaded to do “activities” though – now that sounds so much more me…a lark even. It implies I could join in with other people. Or do it on my own. I can get busy. It has the ring of productivity and energy about it. Activities are FUN. “Exercise” just doesn’t have that.
I know I should do exercise.
I know it’s better for my health – my heart, my bones and joints, my immune system, my digestion, my weight and reduces risk of diseases. And it’s good for my happiness and mental health.
But, I WANT to do activities! When can I start? Where do I sign up?
And I know I’m making light of it, but there is an important message here. I almost said “serious” but that’s snoresville as well.
Now you know why I hate exercise, let’s look at activities and how you can sneak in activities into your day, week, month and year.
Modern Life – A Daily Journey From Desk Jockey To Coach Potato
For many people, the most activity they do each day is walking from the drivers seat in the carpark to their destination – a work desk, a cinema seat, a bar stool, home sofa, whatever ….
Our daily journey seems to be from bed to various chairs and then back to bed. I’m exaggerating slightly to make my point.
Fewer people walk or cycle places than in our grandparents or great-grandparents day. We don’t even need to climb many stairs due to lifts and escalators.
There are so many labour saving devices for food prep, housework, gardening and diy jobs. Some people even employ others to do those chores.
I’m not knocking any of that, by the way.
It’s a fact of modern life. It’s ironic that we drive to gyms that we pay for, to do a hours exercise, yet drive everwhere and use labour-saving devices as much as we possibly can.
I contrast that with my own childhood. My folks cooked with pots, pans, bowls, spoons and whisks. To make a cake, took a whole heap of vigorous whisking. Meringues were a real work-out.
Washing day was a test of endurance. Scrubbing shirt collars and grass stains out of trousers, before lifting washing into the twin tub and then out again – heavy and dripping.
The vacuum cleaner weighed a ton. We didn’t have steam cleaners- if you wanted your floor to shine you got out a scrubbing brush, a mop, a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease.
Gardening was really heavy work. The lawnmower weighed TWO tonnes.
DIY was tough. No electric screwdrivers.
We walked to school and a lot of other places … back in the day.
Physical activity just isn’t part of everyday life, as it once was. So maybe it’s not all about the exercise; it’s about making sure we do more physical activities every day. Remember, I hate exercise *winks*.
I’m not suggesting we go back to the days of squeezing wet clothes through a mangle, but there are lots of things we can do to build more activity into our day…
- Take the stairs
- Walk to the shop or around the block at lunchtime for 10-15 minutes
- Do some deskercise– yes that’s a REAL thing
- Do housework and laundry
- Wash your car by hand
- Play active games including with children – even if it’s wii fit!
- Spend family time outdoors walking or playing
It soon builds up – 10 minutes here and there, throughout the day can really help our health and wellbeing. And it gets jobs done too. No need to hate exercise after all.
Of course, it would be even better for health, hormones and happiness to do EVEN more activity.
I’m not going to mention work/life balance because it doesn’t exist. There’s only such a thing as work/life BLENDING. You have to make your work and life fit comfortably for you. We can all include more activity if we really want to.
To avoid it being a snore inducing chore:-
- Choose activities that you actually enjoy – dancing, ten pin bowling, geocaching…
- Listen to music or watch TV whilst doing your activities – for example out walking or when doing wii fit.
- Fit them in with the rest of your priorities and do them at times that suit you best.
- Set goals or choose activity involving others if that is more fun and helps motivation – like games or team sports or get an activity buddy.
- Vary activities to spice things up a little and for different benefits – aerobic for fat burning, weight bearing for muscle building, core strength work for strength and flexibility…
- Build up slowly – no coach potato should try to become a marathon runner overnight.
But it would be good for health, if more of us moved off the couch instead of simply moving from bed to car to desk and back again each day.
So BOO to exercise (do you hate exercise?) and YAY to more activity in our lives * wanders off to do the European Ironing Mountain*