Are you one of the ones who think you need to sweat buckets and engage in some heavy breathing for the activity you are engaged in to be called exercise? Well think again. Lots of activities that don’t seem like exercise actually are, especially when you pick up the pace a bit!
Take for example gardening. Exercise you say? Uh huh, exercise. Yard work such as mowing the lawn, turning the soil in your garden, raking leaves, digging to plant new flowers — all of these require that you use your whole body while you’re working. Not to mention all the stretching, lifting and cardiovascular exercise you are getting as well!
How about housecleaning? Sure, that’s another form of aerobic exercise, especially when you move heavy objects, dance around the house while dusting or running the vacuum.
Known as “lifestyle physical activity,” gardening and housekeeping are actually forms of weight-bearing exercise that can help lower high blood pressure and encourage and maintain proper bone health.
Other non-traditional ways to add weight-bearing exercise to your daily routine include:
- Taking your dog for a 30-minute walk, or two 15-minute walks, each day
- Taking the stairs at work, while shopping, or wherever possible.
- Dancing — make a date with your spouse or significant other and get out on the dance floor and dance, dance, dance!
- Walk all or part of the way to the supermarket, the gym, the office or anywhere else you have to go.
Regular physical activity improves health, prevents or reduces the risk for developing many types of disease (heart disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes), improves your mood and maintains your weight. And a beautiful garden and a clean house are fantastic side effects too!
Dr. Steven L. Levy is a chiropractor in Woodbury.