Thursday, August 27, 2009

Staying Fit Should be a Lifestyle, Not a Task

I believe staying fit shouldn't be a task or chore checked off a list each day, it should be a lifestyle. On a typical day I go to the gym, yoga class or ride my bike around the lake but today my exercise program consists of housework. And I'm ok with that, know why? Because daily activity can burn as many or more calories than a dedicated workout session.

I belong to 24hr Fitness and was fortunate enough to receive a BodyBugg free from the gym for getting training sessions. I used it for almost 6 months and found out some interesting things. I wore it almost every day, all day and found working at my desk was almost as active as sleeping, which was nill. Little things like walking while I brushed my teeth helped increase my overall calorie burn. This might seem obvious but how many people just stand there and stare at themselves in the mirror? I took the stairs instead of the elevator, I parked a little farther from store entrances, did every day house chores and did my regular workout routine. Yard work or vaccuming and cleaning was just as good burning calories as working out in the gym.

Now, not all general chores will equate to a gym workout. Total calorie burn depends on what chores you are doing and what exercise you are doing. But the end conclusion is a dedicated time to workout isn't necessary to have a healthy lifestyle. And working out doesn't have to be dedicated to just going to the gym or yoga class. Obviously I'm not buildng much muscle pushing a vaccum or cleaning the bathroom today but I am burning calories so I don't have to feel too guilty I skipped yoga today.

I've stopped using the BodyBugg. I found it was irritating the skin and since I exercise outside quite a bit, I was getting a very funny tan line. I know, vain reason. In the end though, I know what I need to know. I know how many calories on average I burn in a day, with our without exercise so I am better equipped to manage my calorie intake along with my exercise program. Here are some other things I learned - Working out at the gym results in modest calorie burn, cardio of course burns more, running burns more than cycling and Bikram Yoga? Couldn't get a good read, too sweaty!

Hope you find a way to integrate working out, whatever that means to you, into your every day life. Being healthy and fit should be something you are, not something you have to "do".


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