Details matter. You say you want to get in shape, but you hate going to the "gym." That's fine! This week's blog post is all about sneaky ways you can get in shape without sitting on a recumbent bike for five hours a week (literally) going nowhere! Let's get started!
Working out should be fun. If what you are doing isn't fun (at least some of the time) then you probably need to research a different exercise modality. It should also be safe. The safest form of exercise is that which is supervised by a professional. All over the country, outdoor "boot camps" are popping up. The fresh air, the calisthenics and the camaraderie can and will do wonders for you. I seriously urge you to do your research and see if the ones nearest you are any good. You do, generally, get what you pay for so penny pinching on a few dollars may or may not be your best option here. Stop by a class and see if you are a good fit. Each class can have a totally different dynamic so if Monday at 6 a.m. isn't for you then come back and see if the 7 p.m. class is more your speed. No matter what route you take, the most important component of any successful routine is that it is done with intensity. Think about that. Your success in exercise has more to do with your own personal intensity than the weight you lift or the number of times you lift it. Just don't get hurt. (1)
Walk more. If you take mass transit to work, start getting off and on the bus one or two stops early. If this distance is small, have faith. Those five blocks each way start to add up quickly. Ten extra blocks per day equals 50 a week, which equals 200 a month, which totals 2400 a year. That's two thousand plus blocks a year of additional cardio you could be getting by spending only a few minutes a day taking a stroll through your town or city. If you cringe at this thought then, that's just lazy!
Eat delicious food! Everyone has some healthy foods they like to eat. Figure out what you eat that is good for you and eat more of it. I also suggest that every Sunday you pack a snack bag for work that includes fresh (organic if possible) fruit. Choose only the most delicious, freshest fruit there is and then put it on a bowl on your desk. Eat when hungry, especially between meals. Another good addition would be a bag of unsalted almonds, seeds and dried fruit (prunes, craisins and apricots). One handful a day would be a good start. The fats will help ease your appetite.
The weekend warrior: I whole heartedly encourage this! Choose an endeavor of challenging physical proportions every week and then execute come Saturday or Sunday. This weekend I dragged a buddy of mine from Jiujitsu to Brighton Beach Brooklyn where we swam parallel to the beach for "laps." We would swim from one rock jetty to the next. At first my friend was a little intimidated by this but once we were done with our laps we knew this was the highlight of both our weekends. Next weekend I will either go indoor rock climbing or backpacking upstate. If you have children, this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids. These weekend adventures will be memories your child will cherish as an adult. Other great weekend warrior ideas: a 5K run/walk, softball game, beach volleyball game, a long five-mile walk with your dog, kickboxing lessons -- it goes on and on. You never know, you may discover something you really love.
Life is short. Get off your couch and live the good life!