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The Falling Leaves…

After 2 solid weekends of yard work, I looked out the window this morning to see our last big maple tree literally raining all of its leaves onto the yard.  In a neighborhood where almost everyone has a company to do their yardwork AND based on the complaints I hear about fall and leaves and raking, I suspect my morning view triggers different thoughts for me than for many.

I see all the fun my kids will have running, jumping, and hiding in those leaves.  I see an outside project my whole family can work on together.  And, I see free exercise!  All good things in my mind.

I’ve never been one for exercise classes–just not my thing.  I’m more about finding ways to be active in every day life.  And it’s what I’ve often tried to recommend to people.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying quit your exercise classes—if you’re a class lover, than great–keep it up!  If however, you’re like me, or the economy has forced your gym membership fees out of your budget, look at what you need to do as being more active vs. exercising.

Last Saturday as I raked (while a neighbor walked by and said “Not a fun way to spend your afternoon,”) I got an aerobic workout–I was raking fast, an upper body work out–back and forth with the rake, and a lower body workout–as I squatted to use good body mechanics to lift the leaves into the bags.

In life we’re actually surrounded by ways we can be more active, we just don’t always look at it from that perpspective.  Now, what I’m about to say is nothing new, not mind blowing, and you may have heard it all before but that’s because it works!  So, here we go:

  • Instead of wasting 5 minutes or more driving around, looking for the closest parking spot–pick the farthest (no wait for that one) and turn that 5 minutes in your car into a 5 minute brisk walk, and another when you’re done shopping
  • Instead of tiring out your finger pushing all of those elevator buttons, take a second to look around for the stairs.  They’re usually right near the elevator but often hidden behind a door–so look closely.  Then once you’ve found them, squeeze those butt muscles and walk as briskly as you can for a good workout.
  • Instead of putting off cleaning the house or hiring a cleaning agency so you can go to the gym, get a work out while cleaning the house.  Put on your favorite music, and vacuum and mop the floors as quickly as you can.  Do toe raises up and down while dusting up high and squats to dust down low.  Just get creative.

What are some of your favorite ways to be more active?

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