It’s relatively common knowledge that moving your body is important to be healthy.
Notice I didn’t use the word exercise.
As I’ve shared with you in the past, I really don’t enjoy exercising. I never have. I was always the kid who preferred to get lost in a good book to playing sports. I’ve been lucky as an adult to find forms of exercise that I loved – namely, running and yoga – and that served me well.
News flash! Even when you love to do certain things, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually do them.
I’ve been sidelined from running due to injury for a few YEARS now. I miss it so much! And yoga, well, it’s been ages since I’ve gotten to a yoga class. I miss that even more than the running. I try to keep up my yoga practice at home, but I have a day job, a start-up business and a two-year-old. You do the math.
So besides running after a toddler, my life has been pretty sedentary of late and I’m feeling the effects of this. The past month, I’ve seen a little extra fluff pop up around my midsection and my clothes are getting a little tighter. I don’t own a scale, so I don’t know what I weigh, but I’m sure if I stepped on one the number would make me gasp.
Exercise is also a cornerstone to boosting your fertility. Not only does it promote weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, it gets your heart rate up. This gets your blood moving and improves your circulation. Excessive sitting, on the other hand, can impede your fertility by restricting blood flow to the uterus and other reproductive organs.
Doctors recommend that if you’re trying to conceive, 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week is ideal.
I asked around for some creative ways to exercise. Here’s a list of 30 fun ideas, one for every day of the month, to get your body moving. These are listed in no particular order, and include some ways to exercise you’d readily think of and others you might already be doing without knowing you’re exercising!
- Walking. We all do it, every day. Try to do more of it. If you want more reasons to walk, get a dog! You have to walk a dog at least twice every day! Or have a walking date with a friend.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It might take a few extra seconds to get to your floor but they’re beneficial seconds.
- You can also “run” the stairs. I have 13 stairs in my house. I bet I could burn some calories and get a little cardio in if I ran up and down them for just 5 minutes twice a day. If you run the stairs just make sure you wear non-slip shoes!
- Bike to work or to a friend’s house.
- Hiking is a great way to build endurance.
- Rock climbing really builds strength as well as endurance. If you don’t live near any rocks find a climbing gym.
- Video games that make you move your body (like Wii Fit)
- Beach Body. Another popular home exercise program.
- Gardening! Planting and tending to a garden can actually be strenuous work. It also has added benefits of getting you out in the sunshine for that all-important Vitamin D AND you can grow your own food!
- Mow your lawn! You have to do it anyway. So put on your earbuds and groove out mowing the lawn to some upbeat tunes. After mowing your lawn, help your neighbor by mowing theirs.
- Dancing! Swing dancing, ballroom dancing, salsa dancing, whatever kind you like.
- Belly dancing. Yes, it falls under the dancing category, but gets its own entry here for its awesome benefits for toning your abs, strengthening your core, and promoting fantastic weight loss.
- Martial arts. Ancient practices that work your mind as well as your body.
- Yoga Like martial arts, this practice of centering and stretching is a boon to healthy living.
- Clean your house! Nobody enjoys doing it, but it’s got to get done – so make a game out of it. Back in my 20s I used to blare music while cleaning my apartment and see how much I could get done during one song. Not only would I get sweaty and out of breath, my house got cleaned faster! Hands down, Billy Joel’s “Pressure” was my favorite all-time song to clean to.
- Step exercises while cooking. As long as we’re on the subject of domestic drudgery, put a bench in your kitchen and do step exercises while you cook. It’ll take a little coordination until you get the hang of it.
- Convert your desk at work to a standing desk. That way you’re not sitting all day and you can move a little while you work.
- Cubicle stretches. It’s another way you can get some movement while working for The Man.
- That thing you and your husband have been doing to try and make a baby? Yeah, do more of that. Enough said.
- Water aerobics. It’s not just for little old ladies. The resistance of the water actually gives a great workout.
- Pole dancing classes! It’s an amazing workout! Heels and sexy lingerie optional.
- Couch crunches. You actually can exercise without getting off your couch. Do some ab crunches while watching TV. Just do more of the other suggestions before this one.
- Jumping Watching my toddler have fun jumping is inspiring, and infectious. Jump on a trampoline or a bed – you’re not too old.
- Pilates Great workout for your core.
- Rollerblading is a great workout. Just make sure you practice first!
- Fencing My husband does this one! Fencing is an incredible workout and one of the best things is that it works your mind as well as your body!
- Geocaching Get exercise while searching for treasures.
- Get out your old hula-hoop. Sounds kinda crazy, but apparently this childhood favorite, will tone your abs, thighs, glutes and arms.
- Disc golf. Also known as Frisbee golf entire workout routines have been developed around this sport.
- Community Service. Get out and volunteer. Help clean up your local park or build a house. You’ll be helping others as well as yourself.
So there you have it. Some traditional, and not-so-traditional, ways to get those 30 minutes you need 5 days a week. Compiling this list made me see that I’ve definitely been in a rut with exercise. In the next month I plan to ride my bike more and run the stairs. Check in with me in a month to make sure I did it.
What’s one new thing you’re going to try this month?
This post is also available in: Arabic