Caitlin’s Tips for an Active Lifestyle
As busy as we are, exercise should be one of our greatest priorities. If we’re going to be eating right and functioning well, getting your heart rate up a few times throughout the day is not only encouraged but mandatory. Personally, I’m quite a lazy person and am not athletically inclined in the least. There are still a few things I do throughout the day that may not take extra time, but help me to get in a little bit of leg burn. Here are my favourite tips!
Taking the stairs (if it’s safe). Who needs an elevator anyway?
Go for a walk at lunch. You’re gonna be sitting around anyways—why not grab a friend and go for a brisk jaunt?
Speaking of walks—anytime you’re walking somewhere, don’t just stroll. But here’s the catch– don’t jog, either! You get the most bang for your buck when you fast-walk. Your legs and glutes are working hard, and it’s not the most natural for your body (if you need to go fast, it’s EASIER to jog!). Plus, you get to your destination that much faster.
Do squats and jumps every hour. JP recommends doing a squat followed by a high reach on your tippy-toes for ten reps, every hour. For school kids, make it 20 reps in the morning, 20 at lunch, 20 after school, and 20 at night. In a day, you’ll have done 80! Sweeet.
Take the longer route. It sounds simple, but you may come across something or someone cool—at the very least, you’re getting more exercise!
Instead of meeting a friend at a nearby coffee shop, why not walk with them to somewhere farther as you talk?
Learn how to skip! There are many cool tricks to be learned—and it’s FANTASTIC exercise.
Instead of playing beach volleyball on the sand, why not try it in the water? There’s a lot more resistance, and your body will stay a lot cooler.
If you can think of any more easy tips on getting extra exercise, post a comment below! There’s so much you can do—the best would be to get your full 30 minutes of complete-body exercise a day. Send JP an email to find out more! Happy exercising!
Just like a dependable savings account requires regular deposits in order to maintain a positive balance, so too does our body. Special attention must be paid to keep our personal vitality account in balance since withdrawals occur throughout the day. One common withdrawal, inactivity, happens as a result of our modern and mechanized lifestyle and contributes to a negative balance. Regular investments in the form of movement, or simply bending, twisting, and squatting, coupled with daily walks and other activities all help contribute to a vibrant and balanced body account.
The original practitioners of Hygiene understood the restorative powers of exercise and led a very physical existence. Constantly seeking ways to challenge themselves physically, they engaged in club swinging, wand use, acrobatics, recreational sports and games in addition to their already active lifestyle. Compare this to the way that we live today, where our dependency on labor-saving devices actually harms our well-being by removing motion from everywhere in our lives — even our recreation. We use our cars instead of our legs and watch sports instead of playing them. When was the last time you danced to music, rather than sitting down and listening to it? Too often, physical activity is erroneously viewed as a choice rather than a necessity and it becomes a neglected component from our otherwise healthy lifestyles.
We are designed to move and every system in our body is somehow influenced by physical activity to function at optimal levels. Our cardiovascular system gets stronger and more efficient with use. Keep in mind, our heart is a muscle and if you don’t use it, you lose it! Our bones are stimulated by physical stress, such as walking, jogging and strength training, and our lymphatic system, or immune system, needs movement to move the lymph fluid throughout the body. The more muscular contractions we do, the more we move our lymph fluid and facilitate the removal of waste products. Last, but not least, the more stretching and reaching we do, the more we retain our flexibility as we age.
One of the most appealing aspects to living a Hygienic lifestyle is its simplicity. What could be simpler than moving your body? You don’t need fancy gadgets or expensive products — just get up and move! For example, instead of driving your car for close errands, walk or ride a bike. Give away your leaf blowers and riding lawn mowers and begin to do more yard work and organic gardening yourself. One of the most effective and efficient all-around physical things you can do is to clean your house because it requires your body to bend, reach, squat, push and pull. If you need motivation to get out and walk after a long day, why not adopt a furry friend from the local animal shelter? Your new walking partner will make sure you get out into the fresh air regardless if it’s rain or shine.
A surprisingly easy, but invaluable action to help your well-being is to relinquish your television’s remote control. Every time we use this modern invention rather than getting up to manually change the channel, we lose an opportunity to improve our flexibility and mobility. Next to walking, a commonly lost attribute as we age is our ability to squat. Sustain your youth by doing the simple motion of getting in and out of your chair. Imagine all those hours spent sitting on the couch, at the computer screen, or in the car and think just how little muscle activity is involved. Now think to yourself, if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Nourishing foods, clean air, sunshine and loving thoughts are all fundamental forms of currency needed for a healthy account balance. The most overlooked form of currency, and an integral part of Hygiene is physical movement. By bringing motion back into your life you will be living a more complete and balanced lifestyle and will be making an investment in yourself that will pay you back tenfold.
Think about how inactive our children are today compared to when we were kids. Remember when our parents had to call us in several times because we were busy outside playing tag, hopscotch or baseball? Today, kids are called away from their computer or the sofa in just the next room. This inactive lifestyle is contributing to weight problems, a lack of self-esteem, performance issues at school and poor habits that can carry on into adulthood.
One way to get your family moving is to make physical activity a family affair where all can participate and benefit from the results. Here are a few things the entire family can do:
- Turn TV time into movement time. During the commercial breaks, try playing games, such as who can stand on one leg without falling down, who can do the most sit-ups or squats, or who can do the most jumping jacks.
- When is the last time everyone, as a family, went to the park and ran, jumped or threw a ball?
- After dinner, instead of watching “Dancing with the Stars,” try watching the stars on an evening walk together. This is a perfect time to share the details of your day with each other.
- These quality times are key to keeping the family active, healthy and in touch with each other. Your children will certainly remember these moments far more than the latest video game you bought them, and will appreciate the results.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the stress that accompanies them, leave little room to think about exercise or fitness. When the cold weather arrives, think how easy it becomes to park in front of the TV or the computer for the evening. Furthermore, the office parties, the wide array of tempting treats and the visiting friends and relatives do little to keep our body in motion.
Why wait until the spring to get started on your wellness program? Start moving now because your body will always benefit from any motion it can get. Exercise helps alleviate stress and depression, helps us sleep better, helps maintain our body weight and puts a spring in our step. It also helps kids work off some of their excitement and excess energy in a healthy way.
Relish the clean and brisk air by bundling everyone up and going for an evening star watching walk. A perfect way to brighten up someone else’s day and to get moving is to volunteer at the humane society or for a local animal rescue. There are more volunteers to walk dogs and care for animals during the summer, but who will take care of them in the winter? The staff members will appreciate a break from the cold also.
Take pleasure in the beauty and the stillness of the season. Have you ever built a snow fort with your kids or thrown a snowball? Make snow blowing or shoveling fun and meaningful by encouraging your kids to help out a senior or less fortunate person Watch a senior’s eyes light up when they see the entire family shoveling their walkway. They will be grateful and your children will learn about the joy of giving to others.
Stay healthy, keep moving and enjoy your holiday season!