It can be really hard to stay on the health bandwagon. Eating right and exercising can feel difficult, boring, and even aimless. But it doesn’t have to be that way! If we reframe our view of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, we might find that it is quite achievable and even purposeful.
Here are surprisingly simple activities that promote a healthy lifestyle without the gym. You may even be doing some of them already!
Cleaning up is a great way to get in some exercise: the motions of scrubbing, squatting, and reaching act on different muscles in the body to help keep you healthy and strong. The best way to reap the health benefits of housework is to schedule a thorough cleaning day each week. Take one day, or break it down into a small activity each day and scrub the floors, squat down and clean the oven, wash the windows, vacuum the stairs, and do the laundry.
Yes—it’s true, shopping is great cardio! Next time you’re in the grocery store or the mall, be mindful of your pace. Take long strides and walk quickly to maximize your workout. Walk the length of the mall or take the long way around the grocery store to get to the dairy section to gain some of your daily 10,000 steps.
Healthy eating tip: When it comes to grocery shopping, make sure to shop when you’re full. People tend to buy healthier foods when making decisions with their minds instead of their stomachs.
Playing an Instrument
When it comes to exercise, some musical instruments are more effective than others. Playing the drums, for instance, typically burns more calories than playing the piano. Plus, the act of engaging in musical creativity can also reduce stress and even make you smarter!
Walking Your Dog
This one is a little more obvious, but noting the benefits might drive you to do it more often. Taking your dog for a walk—or a run—may help you get your daily dose of cardio in a fun way. Forget 45 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical and grab a leash instead.