My little family and I have been taking an early morning walk the last couple of weeks for health and energy (is that part of health?). It’s a good way to wake up for the work day and the school day and it helps us build an appetite for a good breakfast.
We get up early, wash up, dress, and I’m on my feet and my daughter is on her bike. When dad can join us, a couple days a week, he’s on his feet too. We try to beat the morning commute rush so it’s just the quiet of the morning and getting it done this early means (for me) that exercise is done for the day.
As much as a sleepyhead I am if I don’t get my exercise done first thing in the morning it’s more than likely not going to happen. And if I don’t get some exercise done then a lot of my day has been spent sitting down which I don’t like the feeling of. If you’ve ever held a desk job, or had to spend a lot of time sitting down you know that your body can start to enjoy that position and seems to atrophy into a sitting position. Getting up you creak and groan. It’s awful. When I get up and get going my body is primed for the rest of the day and I find I’m more active throughout.
So once you’ve let your body know that you’re going to be giving it more action how can you fit it into your day? You can’t always drop everything and go off on a hike but there are a few ways to get up on your feet more often.
Give Up a Half Hour of Screen Time
If you’re a tv watcher try exchanging fifteen or even thirty minutes of television or screen time for fifteen or thirty minutes of walking. Set your timer and take off. If it’s raining out do a 15 minute walking program. Jessica Smith (my favorite at the current moment) has lot of her walking workout videos on youtube for you to partake of (yes that means you’re on the screen again but it’s for a good cause).
Get Up Earlier
We know, getting up earlier may sound painful. In fact many times it is painful, at first. However, a brisk morning walk is as invigorating as a cup of coffee. If you just know that getting up early is going to be difficult, try getting up five to ten minutes earlier tomorrow. Take a short walk. The next day, get up fifteen minutes earlier and take a short walk. Gradually add time until you are getting up early enough to get a full thirty minute walk in each morning. I admit we went cold turkey and actually get up a couple of hours earlier than we were this summer (hey it was summer!).
Change Your Workday or Errand Habits
Do you commute to work? Can you park farther away? Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Can you fit in a 15 minute walk on your lunch and then eat something sensible for the next 15 minutes? When you’re running errands, try to park as far away as possible. Maybe one of your errands is a nice walk away. Or maybe in the same complex and instead of driving to your next destination you can walk?
Walk Around Your Home
Use any opportunity you can to get up walk. Walk up and down the stairs several times. Get outside and walk around your house. Do lots of house work and walk through your house getting things done. I have seen a book online somewhere where the author turned housekeeping into a workout (I haven’t read it…yet).
Another option is to gradually add time to your walk. For example, if you walk for 30 minutes now, walk for 31 tomorrow and 32 the next day. Adding one minute a day will help you naturally fit your walks into your day without making major changes.