3 ways to make exercise easy and fun

November 17, 2015

Exercise comes in many forms, and they don't all have to involve sweating it out in an aerobics class or lifting weights at the gym. Here are three simple ways to sneak some extra exercise into your everyday life.

3 ways to make exercise easy and fun

1. Get outdoors at least three hours every weekend

  • Ever notice how so much of the equipment at a health club — treadmills, stationary bikes, climbing walls, rowing machines — merely replicates what you would be doing if you were outside? Truth is, one of the best indications of a fit lifestyle is how much time you are outdoors
  • Why? Even if you are just strolling, gardening, washing the car or taking a child to a playground, you are being far more active than you would be sitting indoors
  • Plus, it's terrific for your attitude — and a whole lot cheaper than paying for a health club membership
  • Best of all, once you get in the habit of being outside on your free days, you'll soon be hankering for more active pursuits: bike riding, nature hiking, even taking up a sport again — anyone can shoot baskets in the driveway for fun and exercise!

2. Play games with the kids

  • Instead of sitting around watching your kids play sports, dive in
  • That's the advice from Beth Brody of Stockton, New Jersey, who lost nine kilograms (20 pounds) and kept them off for a year by inventing active games with her five- and seven-year-old sons. Together they invented the game Mommy Monster, "an exhausting game of chasing them until I catch one for tickling," she explains. They also play dodgeball and soccer. "If I don't move fast enough, I get hit with the ball or kicked in the shin." These days, she's down to a size six dress from a size 10, and she doesn't get winded during her4.8-kilometre (three-mile) jogs. An unexpected bonus? "Dodging the shin kicks has certainly made me more agile"

3. Make cooking an easy, everyday workout

By adjusting your gear, your food supplies and your storage, you can make every meal healthier to create! Here are a few ways;

  • Switch your primary cooking knife to a cleaver. It's heavier, giving your hands, wrists and forearms a better workout while chopping
  • Switch to cast-iron skillets and soup pots. Again, they are much heavier to lift (plus, they cook terrifically well)
  • Buy milk and other drinks in larger containers. This turns pouring into an exercise
  • Defy wisdom and put the pantry and cooking items you use most either very high or very low. Stretch slowly and deliberately as you reach up or squat down for items
  • Learn the master-chef trick of tossing your food while it cooks, rather than stirring. This means picking up your sauté pan by the handle and literally tossing the ingredients up in the air to turn them. It takes a lot more strength than mixing the food around with a spoon, and it looks impressive to those watching you cook!

By making small lifestyle changes, you can increase the amount of exercise you get without even noticing. And you can have fun doing it!

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