Build Exercise Into Your Schedule

by Greg Landry, M.S.


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Our daily lives no longer require the physical activity that our ancestors' lives did. Their day was filled with the physical activity required years ago to run a home and probably a farm. that daily activity kept them lean and fit.

Today, most people have sedentary jobs and do a minimal amount of physical work around the house. Thus, we've had to develop "artificial activity".. exercise. But, the ironic thing is that we will avoid as much work as possible not realizing that it's "exercise."

for example, my yard is big enough that many people would use a riding lawn mower to cut the grass. But wouldn't it be silly for me to ride a lawn mower rather than push one and then go out and walk or jog for exercise? Get the exercise while doing the work. Don't try to make the work easier.

A while back I helped a friend tear down an old shed and we worked pretty hard at it. He's a daily exerciser, yet he complained about having to do this work and was always looking for ways to make it easier - like moving the wood with a truck rather than carrying it a few yards. Carrying wood is great exercise!

I think we've forgotten the best "exercise" of all is the original "exercise".. work! Think about ways that you can incorporate physical work into your daily life. You're getting the work done and getting some exercise at the same time!

  • plant a garden with a shovel instead of a tiller
  • rake your leaves
  • scrub your floors
  • wash your car
  • clean your house
  • walk as many places as you can
  • push your lawn mower
  • sweep
  • shovel snow
  • swing a hammer
  • cut some wood with a hand saw
  • chop with an ax rather than a chain saw
  • stand instead of sitting
  • park way out in the parking lot at Wal-Mart and walk to the store
  • climb flights of stairs, etc.

Look for the difficult way to do things, the way the requires the most physical effort!

Also, don't forget that you can get physical activity "playing." Get out and run around with your kids, play some full court basketball, play tag, ride your bike, dance, etc. If you can create enough additional activity every day through working and playing to burn an additional 300 calories, you'll lose 2.5 pounds of fat per month - and you'll tone your muscles.

We obviously don't have the need to do as much physical work as our ancestors did, but do as much as you can and then supplement it with "artificial work".. exercise.


Author and exercise physiologist, Greg Landry, M.S., publishes a FREE email newsletter, "Fitness, Health, & Weight Loss". To start your free subscription, send any email message, mailto:Fitness-on@mail-list.com or visit http://www.Landry.com. For more information on weight training, email Top18@Landry.com

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