All of a sudden, at the first week of 2018, I ended up into an appendix surgery. I had just got into the rhythm of exercising 5-6 times a week. I had done it for a month by then and it had lifted my mood and physique. I had even thought about finally getting those visible abs when the doctors told me not to sweat for three weeks and especially avoid using my abs. I was very happy for getting my organs fixed but the sports part was not that nice. Or so I thought.
Surprisingly, I learned more about active lifestyle during that three weeks no-sports period. Based on the experience as well as earlier notes, I share my tips for you. Hopefully you find them inspiring!
4 Ways for Everyday Activity
1. Track Your Activity
I’ve tracked my activity almost daily with my Polar M400 sports watch during the past months. The watch shows steps, calories, active time and many other useful things (no, this is not an ad).
If it’s anyhow possible for you, and if you really want to be more active, I recommend using a sports watch to leaern more about your activity. Any good quality sports watch would do. It might not work for everyone but if you have the urge for it, go for it.
For me, my watch has been a big help. It motivates me to walk, chose stairs and even helps to lose weight because I can easily follow my calorie consumption. If I study or work on computer, I might consume as little as 1 500 kcal a day. By being active, however, I easily go over 2 000 kcal. On the days when I excercise, I normally consume 2 300 to 2 700 kcal. Even if you don’t care about losing weight, activity is proven to be important for your health. A tracker can help you to understand it better.
2. Leave the Car
Car can be clearly deactivating. Even if you simply change car to public transportation, it can make a difference. Those few hundred metes to the bus stop actually matter. Again, I found this out very clearly when tracking my activity. It was way easier to reach my “daily goal” (a setting on the watch) when I didn’t use a car. Most people sit enough already during their daily lives. At least I do!
Use the car only if you really have to.
3. Pick the Stairs
This is so abvious but still many people chose the elevator. What’s the point of squatting at a gym if you can’t climb a few floors up the stairs?
I used to dislike walking because it’s so slow and boring. However, if you don’t have much activity or spend time outdoors, this can save the day. Enjoy the fresh air and nature. Feel and sleep better. Have time for your thoughts or listen to an audio book to educate yourself. I even used this when I studied English as a kid; I recorded my English book chapters or asked vocabulary from my self by recording it. Be creative and try new things!
I learned to appreciate walking when I was on the sick leave. My brother, who is regularly training and tries to gain more mass, wondered one day, how it can be so difficult to lose weight: “Why don’t you just walk on a thread mill and read a book or watch a movie simultaneously?” – I got excited! I was not allowed to do sports but walking isn’t a sport, right?
I quickly notice how walking can add a few hundreds of kilocalories to my consumption and burn fat very effectively. I usually walk to gym and back. I burn 150 + 150 kcal only on that 2+2 km walk! If I have a gym training, body pump or dancing, it takes around 300 – 800 kcal. So if I feel lazy at the gym, the walk can even double my calorie consumption. As I train during the mornings, it also lifts up my mood and wakes me up before my training.
Walking burns fat more effectively. It’s a good compliment for heavier training sessions. Walking can consume body fat 40-50% of the calories consumed while harder training usually burns fat with 15-30% of the kilocalories. During my sick leave, by walking two hours and studying my homework simultaneously I lost weight at least as effectively as when I wasn’t on a sports-break.
Good luck for your active lifestyle!
Let me know, if you have any ideas for increasing activity 🙂