As a certified athletic trainer for over 15 years, I have worked with athletes of all ages and settings. Now, my athletes are my four children and other moms who are trying to make some simple, yet significant changes to improve their health. I love the challenge of finding inexpensive yet effective ways to exercise and modify eating behaviors. As a busy mom, I understand the need to feel the best one can without spending hours in a gym, or wasting money on unproven diets.
I have been accused of being an overzealous “fitness freak.” Okay. That’s fair. I have been known to do some “unusual” things during the day all for the sake of burning a few extra calories. It’s true—I’ve ironed clothes while standing on a balance board (I would not recommend this). My personal favorite is running behind a shopping cart in the parking lot, jumping on the back and catching a little ride (warning—this is only socially acceptable when you are pushing a toddler or preschooler). While all of these activities would not be deemed “normal” behavior, they do all serve a purpose. That purpose is simply to MOVE MORE DURING THE DAY!
From transportation to telecommunication, society has found ways to become increasingly efficient. While this efficiency has allowed us to fit so much more into our day, it has also come at a cost….for our waistlines. In our quest to “do it all,” we sacrifice the energy (or calorie burn) normally expended in doing our everyday activities and do it…well….more efficiently. What do I mean by this?
- Instead of burning calories preparing a meal in our own kitchens, we are simply burning fuel in our vehicles while going through the drive-thru.
- We bypass the chance to move more by hiring out our lawn or house work.
- The elevator lures us away from climbing the stairs, buying us a little extra time to send that last text.
All of these examples, while necessary in some situations, contribute to those small, pesky weight gains that sneak up on us. In fact, just 10 to 20 calories accumulated from inactivity every day, can potentially mean a one- to two- pound weight gain every year. Now….. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect in this area. I have been that parent that has insisted that my child bring the game board closer to the couch, so only my outstretched arm has to “work.” The point I am trying to make here is that we need to find opportunities to move more.
- * Stand or walk while on your cell phone.
- * Instead of swinging through the drive-thru for a “healthy” snack, make time the night before to prepare a container of cut veggies to take with you while doing your carpooling the next day.
- Before sending your child to get the remote, get up and get it yourself.
- When performing errands, like grocery shopping, allow yourself a couple of extra minutes to park further away from the store.
In other words, when it comes to performing your daily tasks…. don’t be so efficient! For a healthier 2011, move an extra few minutes every day, and move your way towards a more healthy lifestyle!