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Posted on 10-25-2016

Everyday Exercise Without Gadgets and Gizmos

If you watch television long enough, you will inevitably see an ad featuring the latest and greatest exercise equipment on the market.  An extremely muscular man and/or perfectly proportioned woman will swear that all you need to do is perform 5 minutes a day on the latest "thigh-meister" or  "butt-cruncher" and that you too can have the body of your dreams.  Whenever I see these infomercials, I usually think of several things: 1) How did that guy get 21 inch biceps using the "butt-cruncher"? 2) Do the directions to that contraption come in English as well as Japanese? 3) If I put as much body oil on myself when I work out as that guy on TV, and my "thigh-meister" slips while I am using it, how far will it actually fly across the room before it imbeds in my wall?  But I digress.....

The simple fact of the matter is this.  Some exercise machines and devices are really very beneficial and may actually stimulate one into working out more and more often, which is excellent.  However, most exercise equipment simply re-invent the wheel.  Most exercises require nothing more than you, your own body weight, and an exercise mat.  Another attitude toward exercise is to treat your normal everyday activities like "mini-workouts" throughout the day.  Most of what you do on a daily basis can be turned into short bursts of exercise.  Here are 10 examples for "daily lifestyle exercises":

1) Use your lunch break for a quick 10-15 minute walk.

2) At home, turn normal chores, like lawn work and housecleaning, into fast paced fitness activities.

3) If its possible, bike or walk to work.  Or if you commute, don't spend 20 minutes waiting for someone to pull out so you can get a close parking spot.  Pick a spot at the far end of the lot and walk the rest of the way.

4) Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator.  It's a great way to get your heart rate up.

5) Set your work computer alarm for an hourly reminder to get up and walk around and stretch to work-out-the-kinks.

6) Schedule walking meetings with a fellow co-worker so that you can brainstorm while you stroll.

7) If you are watching TV, do it while riding an exercise bike.  Since you are already exercising while watching TV, you will be less tempted to buy into infomercials and will find the humor in them instead.

8) Make dates with a neighbor or spouse to take nightly walks.

9) Before an appointment or while waiting to pick up your child, walk or stretch rather than sit.

10) Walk or bike to the store when you need just a few items.

So before you are tempted into making those "3 easy payments" for some piece of equipment that will eventually become some place to hang your wet laundry, you may want to think about making a few lifestyle exercise changes instead.  "Buns of steel" do not come in a box.  They come with regular exercise, a reasonable diet, and a small dose of daily discipline.

Timothy S. Cheuvront, D.C.
Chiropractic Sports Physician     

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