Recap- Staying active indoors

If you missed January’s Healthy Minds and Bodies group meeting, I can sum it up in four words:

Good tips, yucky soup. 🙂

I wanted us to sample foods that incorporate fruits and veggies available in the winter months. Canned, fresh or frozen.

Unfortunately, I tried a new soup recipe that came highly recommended and it ended up tasting like baby food. Hehe… there’s nothing quite like experimenting on unsuspecting friends! Fortunately, one of those friends also brought something to eat and it was highly delicious: herbed spaghetti squash.

Here is a run-down of what we discussed:

Things to think about

1) Identify your motivation to stay active. It’s harder than ever to exercise when it’s cold out or pouring down rain, so you’ll really need a REASON.

Whether it be losing 10 lbs, looking better in a certain outfit, having more energy, being a good example to your kids, being able to run for 30 minutes straight, breaking your personal best at an upcoming race, the thought of wearing a swimsuit in the summer, or whatever. Find that motivation and you might even write it down and put it somewhere you can see it. That way, when you’re deciding whether to get out of bed early in the morning to exercise, you can think of at least one really good reason why you should.

2) Identify your opportunities to be active. Take a close look at your schedule and be realistic.

Do you have an hour block of time any days of the week? How about a few 10 or 15 minute blocks every day? Could you wake up earlier to exercise? Or could you add activity to something already on your schedule?

One woman volunteered that she walks around a nearby grocery store while waiting for her son to get out of a class. That way she stays warm and dry no matter what the weather is, and it’s time she would have spent just sitting around anyway! It was already on her schedule, she just turned it into activity.

3) What do you have at your disposal to help you stay active?

A gym membership? A friend with a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike? A jump rope? A staircase? Running shoes? 5 or 10 lb hand weights? Any work-out DVDs? A library card so you can check out a work-out DVD? A Pedometer?

Before you run out and buy more equipment, commit to adding activity regularly without it. After several weeks of sticking to your plan, reward yourself with buying that DVD or what-have-you. You’ll already be well on your way to establishing a healthy habit, and the thing you buy will be less likely to just gather dust!

4) What are your most commonly used excuses for NOT exercising? Be prepared to get around them.

– Too tired to get out of bed early? While you are still in bed, visualize how good it will feel to finish your work out and be ready for the day.

– Don’t have enough time? Make the most of the time you have by doing the four things that target all major muscle groups: lunges, squats, push-ups, and the “plank” pose. Go right from one to the next and do the circuit three or four times. It won’t take long but you’ll get a great workout!

– Don’t have accountability? Find a friend (not too close of a friend, you want someone who you wouldn’t be able to blow off casually) to work out with you or keep tabs on your goals.

– In a rut? Sometimes you just need to jump-start your routine. Try picking up a fitness magazine and do their “work out of the month”. Or, write each workout you want to do for the week on a notecard and put all the notecards in a box. When you do a workout, toss that card out! Try and get through all the cards in the week. Or, set a goal for the week (walk 200 minutes, do 350 push-ups, etc) and work towards that goal all week. Saturday could be a free day if you get it all done before then! 🙂

Other Ideas

For date night, instead of getting ice cream… go ice skating! Or play racquetball or indoor tennis.

Turn on music and DANCE! You’ll work up a sweat and your kids might just join in.

Set up your own “Curves” gym in your living room by having 4 or 5 stations. Jump rope at one, climb the staircase at another, push-ups at a third, jumping jacks at a fourth, etc. Spend 3 or 5 minutes at each station and do the whole rotation twice.

Walk around while you talk on the phone.

Do calf raises while you brush your teeth.

Do sit-ups in your office chair (thanks, Anita!).

Play with your kids. Get on the ground with them when they play and be actively involved with their games of “pretend” or hide-and-go-seek.

Find something that is already a habit in your day and associate it with an activity. For example, you could do pushups in the morning before you put your socks on and you could do pushups at night before you take them off.

That’s it. Now go forth and be active! Oh, and feel free to leave a tip in the comments section. 🙂

Next Month

We’re going to talk about food labeling.

When you see a loaf of bread that says “Healthy,” “Whole-Grain,” “Wholesome,” “Good source of calcium,” etc., what do those things mean? What should you look for in the “Nutritional Facts” section? What’s guar gum? All of those pressing questions and more will be answered at our next meeting.


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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2 Responses to Recap- Staying active indoors

  1. Carolee says:

    In defense of the soup- it was not yucky! Baby food can be mighty tasty sometimes. Noah absolutely loves the stuff.:)


  2. Heather says:

    I also had the same experience with a highly recommended soup. Grace was the one that figured out why it was “a thumbs down dinner” by asking why we were eating Layne and Rian’s food.

    Sounds like a great discussion. I wish I could have been there. Thanks for the recap


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