You hit snooze too many times, kids not cooperating, meetings run long, late to pick the kids up from school, everyone’s asking for dinner and all you can do is stare at them like they’re speaking alien tongues. Then they start cheering and realize you just agreed to popcorn and ice cream for dinner. Oh well, we’ll try again to be healthy tomorrow. Now, on to more important matters… sprinkles and caramel sauce.
We all have days where we don’t get time to ourselves and they usually end up being the days you need alone time the most. You’re already super stressed and exhausted and the last thing you want to do is your evening workout. So you don’t, and no one’s blaming you because chances are they are just as guilty. Oh well, we’ll try again tomorrow… sleepy time.
Wake up and repeat, right? Nope. Not today. Today you’re changing. Why? Because you can and if you don’t then maybe one day you won’t be able to. If you’re a beginner or just looking for new ways to keep up with your physical activity on off days, “rules” can fit into anyone’s lifestyle.
Rules are things I do when I enter a certain area of my house, do a certain activity or even a consequence for eating too much junk. I try to have at least 3 on each off day and they’re meant to be simple and effective exercises that won’t totally tax your body and leave you sweaty and breathless after one set but enough to feel a little burn.
My favorites include:
- Squats after using the restroom. I try to go as low as possible and stand as straight as possible with each rep. Hinge at your hips a little before you lower and it should be a bit easier on your knees.
- Pull-ups at the top of the stairs. I have a pull-up bar in the doorway and every time I go up there I do some sort of pull up or chin up. I do as many as I can, then hold the last one and do 10 reps of an ab move. Holding a chin-up simply hanging while doing bicycle crunches will you get you burning!
- Giant sets after junk food. So you know those boxed pastries, prepackaged dance “foods” for your taste buds that you find next to the bread? I love them. Like, I won’t say no to eating the whole box of the raspberry flavored pastries. Admitting is the first step to fixing your problem right? Now that my snack break is over, let’s do a giant set. 3-5 exercises done one right after the other, without a break. My current go-to is holding 25 lbs in each hand while doing bent-over rows, then suitcase squats, then upright rows, then finally lunges. Usually, 10 of each exercise and by the end of the giant set my whole body is burning!
The great thing about rules is they are totally customizable and you’re probably already doing it somewhere in your life. You know, “I’m going out tonight and I will eat dessert so I better be sure to hit the gym this morning.” It’s all about balance and then finding YOUR balance. Spending hours in the gym is fun, I love it, but not every day and not every person is like that. Your body needs physical activity and adding little bits into your day is one of the easiest ways to satisfy that need. Pick your favorite exercise and attach it to something you do regularly throughout the day. The possibilities are endless and work for anyone.
If you’re a total beginner, this is a perfect way to slowly start incorporating physical activity into your life.
Your loved one telling you to need to get healthier can be intimidating and just hopeless sometimes. “Lose ten pounds and your knee pain will go away” says doc while he’s logging into the next patient’s chart and shooing you out. It’s not always their fault but it’s not very motivating. Start slowly, focus on your form, picture exactly what muscles you are trying to work, and don’t forget to breathe. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, start over and refresh your form and if it still feels off, try a different move. Listen to your body but don’t be afraid to push yourself a little.
If you’re already a gym nut or at least not a stranger to basic moves, then this should be a bit easier for you. You already know what moves work and don’t work for you so the hardest part will probably be keeping it interesting. Keep a dumbell in a certain corner of your house and whenever you pass it does an arm combo. Do frog jumps and tap above the doorway while the garage door opens. Just add a homemade twist to your favorite gym moves.
The human body needs physical activity in order to function properly. That doesn’t mean you need to spend hours upon hours every week trying to out-grunt the local gym junkie. A few short bursts throughout the day or a few, 30-minute sweaty gym sessions a week is enough for most to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The key is consistency and finding activities that suit you and your lifestyle. If you don’t like running then don’t start running, there are many forms of cardio! Simple bodyweight moves are enough for the average person to maintain and even build their muscle mass, which is super important for everyone, including you ladies over 50! Find what you enjoy, embrace it, and live the life you want to live.