Sunday, July 21 2024 - 5:40 AM
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It’s All About Exercise

Let’s face it! Exercising isn’t fun or something that most of us really choose to do. For many of us busy moms, exercise just doesn’t always fit into the schedule. Kids’ activities, school meetings, work, and anything extracurricular seems to take up all our time. And getting up any earlier than we already do is not appealing! This is how my life is, however, I know I need to exercise more and hopefully lose at least a couple of pounds. I know I’ll never lose the 30 I’ve gained since my wedding day 20 plus years ago, but 15 to 20 would be good.

Frankly, I find a lot of exercise boring. One summer a friend of mine and I met three times a week to walk. It solved the “exercise is boring” thing by having a friend to chat with. However, while walking is great exercise for most people, it wasn’t what would help me lose weight. In fact, I gained weight that summer. You see I’m vertically challenged, but my husband is not. For the last 20 something years we’ve been together, my short legs have been running to keep up with him. One of my daughters hates shopping with me because I walk “like the store is on fire.” I’m used to walking fast.

As my kids got older, I thought I would have more time for myself. Well, that hasn’t happened yet, even though two of my kids are of driving age. So it was time for a plan B. Exercise is all about movement. The more you move, the more calories you burn. Also, I am the queen of multitasking – due to hectic and overcrowded schedules. If I can ever be doing more than one thing at a time, I will. But how could I incorporate exercise into what I was already doing? I didn’t mind doing exercise if it was fun or work that was already a part of my day.

However, I don’t have time to spend just exercising. I don’t have money to join a gym where I probably wouldn’t go anyway. But I don’t eat a lot of junk food so I knew my problem was inactivity. I am a mom and a writer, so much of my day is spent sitting, either in the car chauffeuring, or at my desk. I did try to fit some exercise time in my schedule, but then other things got lost in the shuffle; things I couldn’t afford to lose, such as my sanity. I figured that if I could come up with a different way of getting exercise, maybe it would help.

After thinking about it for a little bit, I came up with an idea to multitask and fit in exercise–but be done with it before it bored me to tears. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but you have to do what you have to do.

Exercise is all about movement. The more we move, the more calories we burn. If you know you don’t move enough during the day, like I do, try to incorporate more movement into your daily routines. Part of what will help you lose weight, even if it’s just a few pounds, is doing the right exercises for your body type. Are you a spoon, hourglass, ruler, or cone? Click here for an article to help you decide which body type you are, and it also gives appropriate exercises for each.

All right, here it is. As crazy as it sounds, this is what has worked for me:

When I fold laundry, I march.

And when I brush my teeth, I do squats.

When I put laundry in the washer or dryer, I do 100 jumping jacks.

After I go to the bathroom, I do 100 twists.

When I vacuum, I do leg lunges.

When I’m washing dishes, I do side leg lifts.

I do a lot of reading in my line of work. When I read, I lay on my side and do leg lifts, and then I lay on my back and pretend to ride a bike.

I can hear you laughing now. But I want to encourage you that this is a way to lose weight. After two weeks I had lost five pounds. The only thing that changed in my routine is adding exercise to chores I was already doing.

You can take more steps each day. When you go to the store, don’t drive around trying to find the parking space that is closest to the entrance. Instead, park about as far away as you can get. This allows you to walk further and burn more calories. If possible, park at the top of a hill, fill up your cart, and use it as resistance.

One of my problems is that I had my kids do a lot for me. If one of them was upstairs and I needed toilet paper for the downstairs bathroom, I would get them to throw some down. Not anymore. Now I walk myself up the stairs to get the toilet paper myself.

Try to find things to do that are fun as well. Some of my adult church members get together to play volleyball. No, we are far from professional, but here again exercise is all about movement, and in this case, laughter. This is a great time of laughing at ourselves. Of course, the harder you laugh and the longer you laugh, the more calories you will burn. And a calorie burned is a calorie burned. According to some researchers you can burn 10-40 calories in 15 minutes of laughing.

Now many of these exercises are not meant to be aerobic. They might get your heart rate up a little, but they don’t keep your heart beating hard for any length of time. While you still need aerobic exercises once in a while, these exercises will help you lose a few pounds, tone up your muscles some, and make you feel better about yourself. Maybe then you will feel more like joining a group where you can get that aerobic exercise that you need to keep your heart healthy.

What are you waiting for? Get moving!

Ruth O’Neil writes from Virginia.

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About Ruth O'Neil

Ruth O'Neil

writes from Virginia.

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