By Guest Blogger Henry Moore
During the wet spring and winter months you may have an excuse to pick the couch over exercise. It’s cold and dreary outside. Nobody likes to run on a treadmill. But with the coming of summer, out goes your excuses. As the weather turns pleasant, there’s every reason to make exercise a fun part of your family's daily schedule. Here are some ways to make it happen.
Fitting exercise into your daily routine
One of the biggest complaints about exercise is that it simply takes too much time. People say they’re too busy to set aside an hour or more per day to take a jog, go to the gym, or play with the kids. The good thing about summer is that it provides so many more opportunities to walk and play around outside.
One of the best ways to squeeze movement into your day is to utilize breaks and lunch hours. Think of it as recess for grown-ups. Take a 15 minute stroll outside during your breaks. Walk the kids to or back from school and activities. If your company is having a meeting, suggest that you go on a “walking meeting” where you walk and talk.
Have a dog? Walking your dog or taking it to a dog park is another way to get exercise that seamlessly fits into your daily routine. Your dog needs to be walked - and so do you. It’s a perfect match. If you don’t have a dog and you need some motivation, why not offer to walk a friend or neighbor’s dog if they’re busy or even walk dogs for extra cash. Cash plus exercise plus getting some fresh air - it’s a win-win-win.
Adding exercise where there once was none
There are creative ways for adding exercise to your daily routine. You can turn things you already do - such as brushing your teeth, cleaning up or doing laundry - into a mini workout.
You can also change your routine to incorporate more walking and biking. Start small - walk or bike a couple days a week. Eventually you’ll be leaving the car in the garage every day. If you ride a train, bus, or subway to school or work, try getting off a stop or two early and walking the rest of the way.
Encourage yourself to walk more. If you drive your car to the mall or the supermarket, park further away from the door than you usually do. Always take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators.
Get outdoors on the weekends
The weekends are a time when you don’t have to fit exercise into a constrained schedule. Take advantage of local activities such as hikes, adventure walks and road races. If you need to stay close to home, try one of these fun backyard activities with the kids.
One great way to enjoy nature this summer and also get a ton of physical activity is to hike. Hiking is a great workout and bonding activity with friends and family; its rewards are far greater than just physical fitness. Being out in nature has a healing effect on the mind as well.
Not only that, but hiking is a good first step for those struggling with their weight. Hiking can be a good segway into other fitness activities. “If you are overweight and not ready to start running yet, then hiking is a great way to get your legs, feet, and body used to strenuous activity – because you get to pick your speed and difficulty. You can always create the right amount of challenge for you,” notes Nerd Fitness.
It’s summer. There’s put aside the excuse to sit indoors and skip out on getting some quality physical activity. If you find ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, add fitness moves to activities you normally don’t see as physical, and make your weekends count, you’ll be on your way to better fitness in no time.
About the Author
Henry Moore is the founder of the blog Fitwelltraveler.com. A self-professed health nut and adventure enthusiast, Henry blogs about travel and tips for staying healthy while on the road.