Alternatives to Traditional Exercise

You should exercise. You know you need to exercise. Maybe you have high blood pressure or depression, or maybe your doctor said you need to lose some weight. Those things are all very important, and shouldn’t be ignored.

So what is the problem then? You don’t WANT to exercise, that’s what! But don’t worry – help is here, and we’ll get you up and off that sofa in no time!

It’s understandable that many people don’t enjoy exercise for exercise’s sake. We’ve been forced into it, and feel as if we are guilty if we don’t hit the gym five times a week and sweat until we’re soaked. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. We can choose to turn exercise into a positive rather than a negative!

One of the most important things to remember about exercise is that the more you enjoy what it is you’ve chosen to do, the more you’ll stick with it, and really get the mental and health benefits out of it that you want. And exercise, with our daily stressful lives, is a very necessary thing – so it’s not something we can push aside!

First of all, think about the things you truly enjoy doing, because you can gain beneficial exercise in nearly any physical activity that you do on a consistent basis. The more you align what you enjoy doing with something you can do on a consistent basis for exercise benefits, the more apt you are to stick with it!

Let’s say you enjoy walking. Walking down the road at a leisurely pace will certainly provide you with mental and psychological benefits, but you’ll be lacking physical benefits. Pick up your pace, swing your arms, hike up and down some hills or rough terrain in the woods, and you’re looking at a workout that serves both your mind and your body!

If you enjoy swimming, find a local pool that has open swim hours. (If there isn’t one near you, contact a local hotel that has a pool. Often they will offer public access to their pool at a reduced price). Do several laps, then relax and take in some fun, recreational swimming with your family!

Don’t discount the exercise that lies right outside your door! If you live in an area where wood fires are common (and you have a wood stove or a wood boiler), get out in the woods and make your own wood! Cutting, hauling, chopping and stacking make for outstanding exercise while taking in the beauty of nature, and providing much needed winter heat.

And it doesn’t matter what the season – you can probably find exercise to do right in your backyard. Racking leaves, doing yard work, weeding a garden, even grabbing a Frisbee and throwing it around with your kids or partner can give you the physical boost you need – along with the exercise benefits you want! Just 30 minutes a day will work wonders on your body and mind!

So it really doesn’t have to be a chore. Find physical activities that get your muscles moving and your blood pumping, and you’ll notice yourself exercising more for pleasure and fun, and gaining better health while you’re at it!