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Doing the small things to stay healthy

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Teach your kids that exercise doesn’t always mean going to the gym, going for runs, taking 45-60 minutes out of the day to “stay healthy.”  Instead, it’s doing the small things, and getting the bigger exercise when you want to, not when you have to. 


Don’t like or can’t do much scheduled exercise?  Pick two things you know you can do – maybe it’s 3 sets of push ups 3 days a week, and 10 minutes of stomach exercises 3 other days a week . . . then fill in the gaps with dedicated exercise (e.g.:  running twice a week), and other ways of “being less efficient.” 


Examples of being less efficient:  Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator.  Sweep the driveway instead of using the leaf blower.  Park at the back of the parking lot.  Carry a basket rather than pushing a cart when possible.  Hand-wash the car.


If you feel the urge, do something, even for 5 minutes.  Get up and dance, do jumping jacks, one set of pushups, whatever . . . it’s great for the body and mind, and doesn’t have to be a big workout.


And finally, going for walks = exercise + relieves stress.  Take different routes, find hills and stairs, push the pace . . . and stop and stretch now and then.

For more ideas on how to incorporate fitness in everyday life, see our Take the Stairs book.

be less efficient exercise Family health take the stairs

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