Ted is the Communications Director for the Heart Disease and Stroke Program
If you ask people to describe a half-hour of physical activity, you’d probably receive responses along the lines of hitting the gym, jumping on a bike, or going for a run.
I just don’t have the time to spend an hour at the gym several days a week like I once did. And as far as jogging goes, let’s just say my knees won’t be sending me a thank-you card should I subject them to a tour of the pavement in my neighborhood. So, my 30 minutes aligns with my chores at home. This, perhaps, is out of convenience, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be active enough at home to move more and stay fit.
As “caretaker” at home — that means I do yard work, remove scary bugs from the house, and paint on occasion — I have plenty of chances to stay active. And a little creativity can help you multitask by making chores as physically active as you’d like them to be. So, the next time your significant other presents you with a “honey do” list, give him (or her) a smile and say, “Thanks.”
So, how would someone make a chore more physically active, you ask? For example, mowing the lawn isn’t my idea of a good time. The grass pollen doesn’t do my allergies any favors, and before I can get started, I have to move a heavy patio table out of the way, along with several chairs and many toys. Instead of approaching it like I’m walking the plank on a pirate ship, I work quickly, trying to finish this as soon as possible. The faster I move the lawn obstacles and push the mower around, the quicker I’m finished, and the better workout I provide for my legs and lungs.
If you don’t have a lawn to mow, don’t fret. There are many other ways to stay active. Walking just 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a great, low-impact way to keep moving. And many gym exercises can be recreated at home. If you have stairs, try walking up and down them a few times to see how much it works your legs. Some other ways to keep active include gardening, washing the car, and parking away from the mall doors to increase walking.
So, what does 30 minutes of physical activity look like to you?