Modern life is busy. Often, it feels entirely too busy for exercise. Sure, we may intend to swing by the gym after work, but that resolve tends to waver when 5 o’clock bleeds into 6 p.m. and we’re still stuck at our desk working on a project that has to be completed by tomorrow. Fitting physical fitness into our routine can easily fall by the wayside when we’re tired and stressed, even though we need exercise the most in those moments. Government guidelines say that Americans should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity. Such activities include things like brisk walking. Another option is 75 minutes of vigorous activity like jogging or swimming. Not surprisingly, only 18 percent of us meet that standard. There seem to be so many reasons not to exercise. That means we instead must find ways to make physical fitness feel less like an ordeal and more like something ordinary that we do nearly every day.
Rely Less On Cars
The automobile radically changed the way we live. In the year 2018, teenagers dream of the day they’re old enough to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles and apply for a driver’s license. Driving represents a certain freedom. Hungry at midnight? You can hop in the car and, depending on how you feel, either go buy fast food or go visit a 24-hour grocery store. However, owning a car also means spending a significant chunk of your life stuck in traffic. That’s frustrating. Cars also mean we walk less, because why would we need to walk to the corner store when we can drive there instead?
The urge to get healthier isn’t the only reason to ditch your car in exchange for a bicycle or a pair of solid running shoes. Accessibility to public transit is also a critical factor, as there are some places that are simply too far away for biking or walking. But if you can walk or bike to work, you might be surprised at just how exhilarating it is. If you bike twenty minutes to work and back five days a week, then that’s 200 minutes of exercise right there. Of course, there can be complications. Not every office will be OK with its employees showing up to work sweaty and panting, and you’ll need to find a way to store your bike while you’re on the clock. Walking or biking to work may be the most obvious option, but it’s not a viable solution for everyone, especially if you live in a climate with harsh winters.
Explore Your Neighborhood (and Beyond)
Smartphones are great. There are even fitness apps that can help you track how many steps you’re getting every day. Unfortunately, many people are too busy scrolling through social media on their phones to use those fitness apps. Those little mobile devices are great at keeping us indoors and sedentary. So put down your phone and go outside.
Take a stroll through your local park or go for a hike on a nature trail. The Edmonton homes for sale at Starling at Big Lake were designed to be no more than 200 meters from nature. The community has more than 2 kilometers of trails to traverse. If you need your phone to help you navigate the great outdoors, then bring your phone with you but keep it in silent mode to minimize distractions.
Summer is an especially great time to go exploring, but you can go any time of year as long as the weather isn’t too terrible. Try to set aside 30 minutes a day to just go outside and enjoy what’s around you. Don’t feel the need to post photos of what you find on Instagram or Twitter; just try to experience it as it happens. This philosophy can also work well when you’re on vacation.
When we’re traveling, we often want to document everything we see. Some of that is fine, but there’s also something to be said for going on Central Park tours in New York City and completely ignoring your phone. A brisk walk through the park will boost your endorphins and make you realize why New York is known as a world-class city. No Instagram shot can match that kind of natural high.