Fitness Without Exercise

Your Daily Routine Adds Up

Barrie with green running shoes

I’m Barrie. I’m 87 and I warmly welcome you to my monthly blog Over50andfit.ca

My blog is adapted from an article by Camille DePutter, who presents a novel and creative perspective on exercise.

Aversion to exercise

If you have an aversion to exercise, your fitness memories may include being chosen last for your softball team. You may hold an image of clammy bodies gyrating to blasting music in a gym. You might recall being body-shamed at school. You might be turned off by the fitness culture. If so, you would naturally not wish to exercise. Then stop trying to exercise! If exercise feels like an impossible, torturous task, the best approach might be to take it off the table completely. You don’t have to exercise as such.

How to exercise – when you don’t like to exercise. You know it’s good for you. But you loathe it. So now what? You can change your perception of exercising.

Our interpretation of exercise

The author’s premise is that it’s our interpretation of exercise that determines our response to working out. Exercise does not have to follow our traditional viewpoint, but can be considered instead as movement. We can change our frame of reference of exercising, and begin to think of everything – all kinds of movement – we do as being an integral part of a healthier lifestyle. Your movement can be an accumulation of mini actions that add up over the day. One study conducted by Harvard University determined that if we believe our daily activities (like housework or child care) count as exercise, the physiological benefit of those activities is enhanced. It is possible to maintain fitness through our daily, regular activities.

What is movement?

Unless you are literally lying in bed all day, you’re getting some kind of movement: just getting up in the morning, taking the trash out, making breakfast, walking the dog, telephoning a friend, going to your office, shopping, or your daily chores. Without realizing, your movement becomes working out.

How to expand this movement

So, the question now arises: how to increase your movement:

  • After getting up in the morning, try some stretching exercises
  • Video: Gentle stretching for seniors
  • When taking the trash out, walk around the block
  • During making breakfast, try a few lunges or squats.
  • When walking your dog, treat her to a few more minutes
  • While telephoning, walk around.
  • When arriving at your office, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Instead of parking near the shopping mall, park further away and walk more.
  • While carrying out your daily chores, walk faster and increase your cardio.

Your movement is limited only by your creativity.

Having incorporated these new movements into your daily lifestyle, you may feel inclined to try even more activity. Find something you enjoy: you don’t need to have a passion for this new pursuit. Just something which brings a sense of contentment. By integrating these habits into your daily lifestyle, you can achieve fitness without a formal exercise program.

Novel activities

Novel activities can give you a new impetus: pickle ball, lawn bowling, social dancing, water aerobicsNordic walking, yoga or tai chi. Eventually, you will find an activity with your name stamped on it!

Rather than changing your body through exercise, you’ll be changing your mindset about exercise.

I would be delighted to hear any suggestions you have, and answer any of your questions at Over50andfit.ca

Yours in fitness.

Barrie Street

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