Our Fave Non-workout Workouts
This week is Mind + Body week on full clutch, and the posts will be all about healthy ways to find your best self and incorporate them into your routine. Finding the natural point of health for your mind and body can be a tough journey, but one well worth it. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, finding and building your style can actually be a pleasure! No matter your size or shape, we hope to leave you with some practical tips for a healthy body and happy mind!
Hitting the gym everyday, or running the same route every morning can get really old. Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is variety. This is true of what you eat, but also how you move your body. If your routine is getting old, how about trying some of these non-workout workouts to get your heart rate up and your endorphins moving!
If you own a property with a yard, you know that maintaining that yard takes a fair bit of work. Unless you’re that house on the block. You know, the one where the grass gets a foot tall and the city sticks a notice on your door that if you don’t mow, they’re going to do it and then charge you for it. Don’t be that house. Yard work is one of my favorite calorie-burners because it accomplishes something while you’re doing it. Raking up leaves, pulling weeds, tilling flower and vegetable beds–you can see the results of your efforts right away. Plus, yard work is a total body workout. A little cardio from the constant movement of shoveling dirt or walking back and forth, and a little strength training in your legs and arms from lifting.
This one is pretty specific to geography. Here in the Midwest, we have lots and lots of lakes, and boating is a popular past-time. One of my favorite activities is taking out a canoe or kayak. You don’t need to paddle fast to get your heart rate up–digging the oars in takes quite a bit of muscle and energy, so even if you’re leisurely paddling around the lake, taking in the nature, you’ll get a really good workout in. It’s so beautiful to be out on the water, hopefully with a bit of sun and a nice breeze. There’s something calming about water. It’s an opportunity to get away from cars and computers and the grind of daily life. Also…you’ll get killer shoulders from all that digging.
I love to clean. Nothing makes me feel so good and productive as cleaning the house. Like yard work, cleaning is a way to multi-task while getting a sweat going. Now, dusting is not going to be much of a workout. But vacuuming, shampooing the carpets, and mopping is. These activities use your whole body. Especially cleaning the carpets. My two dogs wreak total havoc on our carpeting, so I wash the carpets about once a month. The rug shampooer is a heavy SOB. Hauling it up and down stairs takes some muscle, and pushing it back and forth repeatedly takes some energy. The trick is to sustain that energy. So when I do the carpets, I do them all at once. That’s usually 1-2 hours of sustained movement. Good for the heart!
Yesterday we extolled the virtues of walking as a way to nurture the mind-body connection. Walking and hiking is also sort of a non-workout for me. My dogs require a daily walk so I have to take them, and at this point it doesn’t seem like a burden at all. I enjoy getting out into the fresh air, even if I’ve already been to the gym. When the weather is bad or I’m away from my dogs, I really miss the daily walk. Hiking is a great way to spend time with friends and family. Instead of meeting a friend for happy hour this week, why not suggest you go on a brisk walk instead? You can easily catch up while walking, and you’ll be saving those calories and dollars from the cocktails you might have consumed. If you’d like to incorporate more walking into your routine, but you’re finding it hard to get motivated, sign up to walk dogs at an animal shelter. Those poor dogs are cooped up in their kennels all day, and most shelters welcome people willing to walk them.
Whether by yourself or with friends, dancing is a great workout for your body, and your brain. Hearing a song you love can quickly elevate your mood, and moving your body to the beat will quickly elevate your heart rate. Sometimes there’s nothing better than popping in a CD or pulling up an album on your iPod that you love, and dancing around your living room to it, carefree and loving life. If you’re rhythmically challenged, don’t let this stop you from dancing on your own at home. If you have a dance partner readily available, you can also take your sweet moves out on the town to a local club or concert. And what city doesn’t have a bar or studio that offers salsa lessons? So many possibilities. And don’t forget the always popular night out with your girlfriends. Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on…