My wife and I were talking the other day about her lack of attendance to the gym. She doesn’t want to go anymore, which was quite disappointing to me at the time. We were both going to try and get fit and now she was bailing on me. That was about a week ago, and today, she had been doing work around the house and while we were telling each other about our days, she said something inciteful.
She said: “I got just as much of a workout around the house today as I would have if I had gone to the gym.” I had been thinking about doing a post about sports and how exercise doesn’t have to be the monotony of going to the gym, and that statement really got me thinking about it a lot more.
There are tons of great alternatives to going to the gym that can be a lot more fun too. I’ve taken the time to brainstorm just a few different categories of non-gym exercise.
I like to play basketball and volleyball with my friends. They’re great group sports and can be a ton of fun. You can also play American football or soccer too. Basketball and soccer are great cardio workouts, while football can be great for strength and sprinting. Volleyball or baseball are great coordination sports, helping you improve reaction time and hand-eye coordination.
Often times if you’re playing fun sport you can be “working out” for hours at a time with little to no concept of how long you’ve actually been doing it. I find it quite addictive to play volleyball myself. Try to periodically substitute one of your exercise days with a group sport of some sort. If you don’t have any friends that want to participate in a group sport, you could do something like golf as well. You could also look to your local community. Many communities have baseball, soccer, or rugby teams.
I’m from Vermont, so we have large lawns and a lot of people burn wood for heat in the winter. Stacking and splitting wood is one of the best strength workouts I can think of. You can actually keep track of personal records in how fast you can split or stack specific amounts of wood.
I also prefer to mow my lawn with a push mower instead of a riding one, because walking the lawn and pushing the mower is a great cardio work out as well. I try to mow my lawn at a fast pace, but it’s hard, because if I go too fast the lawn doesn’t look good. When you mow the lawn by hand, you’ll be saving money and getting healthy at the same time!
Commuting to Work
I can’t say that I’ve ever done this, because it scares me a bit to be without my car, but I’ve often times though of riding a bike to work. It’s about five miles, so I would be chalking up about ten miles a day in exercise on a cycle. The trip home would be up a mountain too, about 500 ft. in elevation change!
The point is, we are exercising every day, or at least have the opportunity to. It’s not hard to find little ways to get a little bit more fit throughout your day. Tomorrow think to yourself periodically about the things you just did. Could you do them differently to get a little bit more of a workout? Share your thoughts.