I don’t have my sneakers.
Yeah, but I’m still wearing shoes that won’t cause me any significant damage should I get off my butt and take a stroll around the office complex. Besides, I’ve been sitting in this chair, staring at my computer screen for who knows how long. How much more damage can I do to my body by taking a quick walk in my work boots?
Which brings me to a more detailed sort of excuse I run into (and have used) when talking to people about exercise. And that is, that they don’t have the right gear. As in work out clothes, shoes, or other items designed specifically to wear when “exercising”. Going to let you in on a little secret, all that money spent on lycra, spandex, specialty footwear, mats, towels, bottles, bags, and memberships to places where that type of gear is “required” won’t matter not narry a bit when it comes down to getting one’s toocus into better shape. Oh sure, it might make the wearer feel more motivated to walk, run, jog, stretch, sprint, lift, etc. but in the grand scheme of things, who says those are the only ways to “exercise”?
As a kid, we spent just about all day Saturday, and most afternoons after school when the weather was nice enough, outside just doing stuff. Riding our bikes, playing football, tag, hide and seek, climbing trees, imitating kung-fu moves we’d seen on TV…etc. It was jeans, sneakers, and tee shirts. We used to fuss about having to come in the house before the street lights came on. Or for any reason other than to eat. Here I am, a (sort of) grown-up with the freedom to stay out and play for as long as I want to and what do I end up doing? Letting the streetlights catch me huddled up on my couch, or worse yet, driving home from work.
Exercise is whatever you do to get your heart beating a bit faster, your blood circulating…exercise builds the spirit as well as the body and can be done anywhere, anytime, while wearing ANYTHING that allows for freedom of movement. It can take place in ten minute spurts or last a few hours (as long as you’re fit enough to handle that activity for that length of time). Hell, that afternoon quickie with your ‘sig-oth’ (just made that up, lol) while the baby was thankfully taking a nap constitutes as some of the best “exercise” you could have. At least as far as I’m concerned. Did you know laughing burns calories?
You get my point here right? Exercise is what you make it. House work if done in sprints can be all the work out you need. Seriously. On your mark, get set…GO! See how fast you can:
- take out the trash
- haul in the groceries
- wash the dishes by hand
- vaccum the living room
- make the bed
How fast did you do it? Mark that and try to beat your time next time. You’re welcome. Say house work isn’t your thing? Okay, how about yard work? Or better yet, instead of running your SUV through the neighborhood car wash, wash that monster by hand. Might not win any speed records but you WILL get a work out, trust me. Washed my Avalanche the other day and let me tell you, with all the reaching and climbing and what not, I might as well have done a Crossfit work out.
But now here’s the thing, you can’t just do it the one time and then never try it again. At least not if you want results. The kid example I used earlier? We played damn near six days a week, every week, almost year ’round (Denver gets upwards of 300 days or so of sunlight each year. Might be cold, might have snow on the ground, but as long as the sun was shining, we’d find some reason to be outside). That’s what I call dedication. Life of course necessitates a rearrangement of priorities as we get older, no doubt, but I promise you, that level of dedication to all things that get you up and moving doesn’t have to go away entirely. I’m committing to a minimum of 10 minutes daily. Just ten little minutes.
I grabbed my ten minutes today whilst at work. The intro to this post is what started the whole deal. I’d give that excuse and others very similar to it each time I’d think about walking around the complex at work. Today, I said @#$% it and just got up and walked outside. Once out there, I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to just stroll for a minute. I wouldn’t call it “exercise” either. Instead, I very easily convinced myself that I am more afraid of blood clots that can come from sitting too long (don’t know where I got that bit of trivia but it’s in my head – figured I should put it to good use) than I am of my work boots not being suitable for a brief walk.
Worked like a charm. Took me ten minutes and some change to make the circle. Along the way, I was privy to bird song, a cooling breeze, ‘snowflakes’ surviving 80 degree temps (or at least that’s what came to mind as I watched the fluff falling from these GA cotton wood trees) and the (almost paralyzingly scary) acrobatics of a large bodied spider that seemed to be suspended in mid-air,turning somersaults. Almost walking into said acrobatic arachnid was an added bonus as I’m sure it got my heart rate pumping about the same as had I done a five-minute sprint.
Hey – this works for you writer-wanna-be’s too!
Set that timer, write those words. Pen and paper. Note pad on your smart phone or tablet. The waitress / waiter’s pen and the back of the cocktail napkin…you don’t need special gear in order to put words to page toward FINISHING that manuscript / article / blog post / etc. You just need to get the words written and short of using your blood for ink (don’t laugh, I’ve heard stories) in an emergency, I’m positive that no matter where you are, you have access to the materials needed to get those words down.
Alright – I’ve taken up enough of your time. Might I suggest you get up for a minute (or ten) and move around a bit. Would hate for you to end up with deadly blood clots from sitting still too long. 😉