Who said the gym is the only place where you can "get more fit"? Personally, I do not like being inside a sweaty gym doing parallel things with other sweaty people, staring at a TV screen, trying not to think about how much pain I am in, or how difficult it has become to breathe. So for those of you like-minded people, there are a ton of activities out there that count towards the doctor- and CDC-recommended 2.5 hours of "physical activity" each week. Physical activity counts as anything that gets your blood pumping and increases your heart rate. A little bit is much better than none at all.
Remember, these are recommendations, so "grade your activities" depending on your baseline level. Low grade activities are more appropriate for those who have >50% sedentary lifestyles, medium for those who live 50:50 sedentary/active lifestyle, and high for those who live <50% sedentary lifestyles.
The following is a list of activities, with "activity-grading" recommendations, that do not involve the gym:
- Take a walk.
- Low grade: Walk a few minutes around your neighborhood. Bring a friend or family member. Or go to the mall!
- Medium grade: Walk along the beach. The unsteady terrain gets your muscles firing and makes your heart work a little harder.
- High grade: G o on a 5+ mile hike.
- Low grade: Walk a few laps in the water.
- Medium grade: An aerobic aquatic exercise routine, e.g. knee high kicks, running a few laps, kicking laps with a kickboard, and treading water.
- High grade: Swim 20 laps (500yds).
- Play ball.
- Low grade: Catch with little ones.
- Medium grade: Soccer in the backyard.
- High grade: Full court game of basketball with teens/adults.
- Low grade: Do the dishes. Wipe off a countertop. Organize your desk.
- Medium grade: Do laundry.
- High grad e: Sweep/vacuum the floor.
- Have (safe) sex.
- Low grade: Mm...first base.
- Medium grade: Turn up the heat a little...maybe some oral sex.
- High grade: A quickie! Or long, drawn-out sex.
- Note: Sex is harder to grade, and it really depends from person to person. This is definitely a topic we can talk about in treatment sessions.
- Other activities:
- Turn on some music and dance.
- Sing your heart out.
- Have a good laugh. Attend a comedy show, watch a funny movie, have a good night with friends.
- Take your bike out for a ride.
What are your favorite non-gym forms of physical activity?
For more recommendations on activities that fit your lifestyle, contact yours truly.