Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Like To Move It, Move It

To answer your question ("Where ARE you?"), I'm back in California this week. The purpose of this trip is multi-fold: I'm visiting my parents before the holidays (as we will be spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas with JM's family this year), I attended a family milestone birthday party, I'm checking up on my baby brother-in-law who recently moved to L.A., and I'm running a half-marathon on Saturday. Here's the thing: Whenever I'm out here, I am struck by how active my days are. And without my even trying (half-marathon aside, of course)! It seems like all the fun things I do- swimming in the pool, going to the beach, playing croquet, volleyball or Frisbee (if you can, in fact, call my efforts "playing Frisbee"- I might be the only person in the universe incapable of putting spin on a Frisbee), hiking, yoga, chasing after my friend's baby- are all inherently active and athletic pursuits. In fact, the only thing I do that isn't exercise is sun-bathing, and even then, I break a serious sweat. It's like the exercise just happens without my even thinking about it.
Which, now that I think about it, is probably why my parents, who are senior citizens, actually look more like seniors in college (okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea). It seems like instead of allocating an hour at the gym every day, you can achieve similar, or better, health results just by keeping moving all the time. So my new motto for life (I have a few of them), is "Just Keep Moving".
Here are just a few healthy habits for things you can do in your real life to keep your body in shape, without setting foot in a gym. Admittedly, these aren't as much fun as beach volleyball, but they sure beat the treadmill.

-Walk It: Instead of taking the car, walk your errands (or even better, run them). Carry your laundry to the cleaners and pick up your dinner as take-out, instead of having it delivered. Take the stairs instead of the elevator (or better yet, move into a 5th-floor walk-up, like us). If you have to drive, park on the far side of the parking lot and walk across, like my dad does.

-Bike It: Put the new bike lanes in New York City to use, and bike to work and around the city. Just please wear a helmet- if the pedaling doesn't get your heart pounding, near accidents with taxis certainly will. It's just like Spinning class, but without that hamster-on-a-wheel feeling.

-Carry It: Instead of getting a cart at the grocery store, grab a basket. You'll work your biceps carrying it around, and you'll be less likely to buy junk you don't need. And while you're at it, bring your own bags to the store and carry your groceries home yourself (this is especially good exercise if you live in a walk-up, see?)

-Build It: Earlier this week, I assembled my parents' new grill. At one point, I was in a crunch position for about ten minutes attaching two parts, and I realized that even that is pretty decent exercise. So next time you make a run to Ikea, load the car and assemble it yourself. And since you'll have to deal with sorting out all those screws and washers and deciphering those directions, this one will be a good exercise for your brain, too.

-Fix It: Anyone who has ever tried to move a toilet, or held a 50-lb lighting fixture while someone else screwed it in to the ceiling, knows that DIY is as good for your bod as it is for your house. And it's so rewarding!

-Clean It: Next time you have to clean your place, put on your workout gear and some pump-up tunes (I recommend Sean Paul), and treat it like it's exercise. It'll be a better workout than a jazzercise tape, and you'll get so much more done.

-Grow It: If you have the space (and green thumb) for it, start a garden. Shoveling, weeding, mowing, hoeing, mulching and watering are all great exercise, and you'll have pretty flowers or tasty veggies to show for it (in addition to your rock-hard abs).

Here's hoping this moves you!


Chloe said...

Love it!

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Lady Kay's Kitchen said...

haha love these ideas!

squidravioli said...

This is great advise, however it is much easier to accomplish when you are living in a "walkable" city such as NYC. We don't have that ability in my towne.

Claire said...

Yes, and it's also difficult to move around all day when you are working a full-time job.