We’ve all heard about parking as far from store entrances as possible, and taking the stairs, to help control weight and encourage fitness. I’m a certified personal trainer, and I’d like to share some tips that I give to my clients all the time.
How you move is just as important as how often you move. The following are guidelines that, when practiced, will make a noticeable difference in your fitness, energy, muscle tone and weight.
§ Wear sneakers on your shopping trips. Dressy or heeled shoes will discourage swift movement.
§ When traversing the parking lot, jog or walk very fast. Leap over puddles.
§ Unless you are searching for particular items on display, walk briskly, rather than stroll, from point A in the shopping center to point B.
§ When taking stairs, do it two steps at a time or bolt up them as fast as possible. If you’re carrying packages, do not even think about taking the escalator.
§ Unless you’re injured, don’t ask the nice gentleman at the checkout to carry your heavy packages. Hoist them yourself.
§ When pushing a shopping cart across the lot, push as though a hissing panther is chasing after you.
Other Ways to Squeeze in Exercise
Is time shortage really the issue? If you were paid $100 to exercise an hour a day, you’d have no problem finding that hour-even if you had to break it down into six, 10-minute segments. So make exercise a priority. And if you think devoting only 10 minutes to exercise isn’t worth it, try jumping rope nonstop for 10 minutes!
Even one minute of exercise can produce a training effect: After shoving the holiday cookies into the oven, dash outside and run down the street as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Walk easily for one minute. Sprint back for 30 seconds, then walk the remainder back home. You just worked out for only 60 seconds, but 60 seconds’ of sprinting packs a heavyweight punch.
Again, if you don’t think one minute counts as anything, see if you can sprint all-out for 30 seconds. And if you can’t run well? Then just move as fast as you absolutely can! Maximum effort is key, even if all you can do is lumber.
§ If the kids are begging for your attention, take them outside and play ball.
§ Set your cooking timer for 10-15 minutes and commit yourself to exercising until it rings. Do this when you’re not expecting any visitors.
§ Do pushups, ab work, jumping jacks, step routines on the stairs, jogging in place, and squats while waiting for the water to boil or your toddler to finish his lunch.
§ Designate a room the “lunge room.” Every time you enter it, do 10 stationary lunges with each leg.
§ If you don’t have a gym or rec center membership, invest in one. Then go, even if it’s for 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes of rigorous strength-training is more effective than one hour of lackadaisical movements.
§ With resistance tubing and a stability ball, devote 15 minutes to workouts first thing every morning.
§ If you have a dog, add 20 minutes to your typical dog-walking times, and/or add two extra walking sessions per day.
Put yourself on the to-do list. The more fit you are, the more efficient and productive you’ll be at carrying out all of your holiday tasks. If time is truly tight, see where you can shave it: Spend less time with the curling iron, crossword puzzle, TV, and other non-essential activities, and use that new-found time building a stronger, more fit body!