We all know the most basic way our bodies operate is by turning what we eat into energy. The more we put in, the more we need to do to burn it off. Going about our day to day lives and eating healthy meals is usually enough for us all to keep a balance between input and output. But what happens when your daily routine changes and your usual activity levels reduce? Now more than ever, it’s vital to move with the times & keep you & your loved ones fit & active!
Whether it’s stopping going to the gym due to an injury, switching to working from home or changing habits which mean you spend more time in the house – all these factors will affect your output and throw your overall balance off.
Our bodies will always need food. Not only do we need it to move and stay active, but we need it to produce energy to breathe, think, heal and repair. With this in mind, the best way to maintain a healthy input/output balance is to find other ways to keep your activity levels up.
But if you can’t go to the gym, or you’re not walking to and from school every day, what else can you do?
Cut the convenience
Modern technology has been developed to make our lives as easy as possible. This is brilliant for when we are time poor, running around after a family, or trying to fit mundane jobs around our busy working lives, daily commutes and other engagements. But what if you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands? It can actually make a big difference to stop using these conveniences and use up some energy instead.
I’m not just talking about star jumps in the front room here (though do them if you like!) Even small things like cooking a meal from scratch, rather than buying in ready-made items, use up more energy… particularly if you make additional changes like ditching the electronic whisk and doing it by hand.
Chores don’t have to be a bore
Turning jobs you have to do around the house anyway into exercise regimes rather than tiresome tasks is another solution. A vigorous bout of hoovering, a dance while dusting… or even a bit of extra stretching while doing the DIY. Putting all your effort into these activities is bound to get your heart beating faster, work your muscles and make you feel warmer – all doing you good.
Find a longer route
If you really are struggling to find ways to be active, try actually putting obstacles in your way to force you and your family to move more. Take the scenic route when walking to the shops, or even go to two separate shops for milk and bread. Or at home, keep the remote control on the telly, so you have to get up to turn over the channel. Keep your kettle in the upstairs bathroom, so you have to climb the stairs every time you want a cuppa.
It might sound silly but each step you take and every time you lift yourself up out of a chair will be doing you good. To our modern brains behaving in this way doesn’t seem to make much sense, but if you find yourself with the time – why not? Your body will thank you for it in the long-run.
Keep up the good work
If you and your family are used to playing sports and being active, then find ways at home to replicate that energy! There are plenty of things you can do in the garden as a family such as playing football, badminton, building assault courses and dens. And if the weather forces you inside, you can dance together, play tennis with a balloon, or even set up an assault course – just be careful to remove any fragile objects before you start!
The great thing about kids is that they have endless energy, so if you can encourage them to try something new and they enjoy it, they can stick at it for hours…forcing you to as well sometimes!
Turn your home into a gym
If you are a regular gym-goer then there are plenty of things you can do in your home until you can get back to the gym.
This can be anything from putting bags of flour in a bag-for-life to use as kettlebells, to lifting cans of water instead of dumbbells. Lots of exercises use body weight so you can easily set up a ‘gym’ in your kitchen or living room and set up a routine as you would in the gym. Push ups, star jumps, running on the spot and lunges are all good options.
If you have a usual routine why not introduce it to your family and get them all involved? Or, if you need some guidance, go online and search for videos that will give you step by step instructions.
The great thing about this is that it’s something the whole family can enjoy together. You can do 30 minutes every morning before you start your day, or pick an hour slot three times a week, just like you would if you were attending classes.
Whatever you do, don’t stop
Being active isn’t just good for your body, it’s also good for your mind and soul, so it’s important to keep it up at all times, no matter your age, ability or personal situation. So, whether you are starting from scratch, or just trying to maintain activity levels when your circumstances change, there are plenty of ways to ensure your output and input remains fairly equal – and you can still enjoy the odd treat guilt free!