This year has brought its fair share of challenges for many families. The added uncertainty and unrest from a global pandemic may have shifted priorities as we’ve all learned to adapt. We all know that physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle. Have the challenges of the year put a road block between you and your health and fitness goals? MaryAnna, our Ambassador from Millard County, shares with us how she plans to refocus and make physical activity a regular part of her day.
Are you excited about school starting? I am! One reason for my excitement is the return to a more structured routine. When I schedule my day, I get so much more accomplished. The summer months start off with good intentions, but the lack of structure often means my time for physical activity goes out the window. This year has been more challenging than others, due to working from home with my kids at my side. I start off with a schedule, but as I address the needs of my family my schedule can easily get off course. If I’m not careful, it is the end of the day and I’ve run out of time for exercise. With school starting, my goal is to make a schedule, get back to a routine, and do my best to stick to it. Each day I plan to ask myself, did I schedule fitness into the day? When I look back on the times where I’ve been most successful with my exercise and fitness goals, it’s because I made it a regular part of my day. – Mary Anna Henke
If you, like Mary Anna, are looking to make physical activity part of your daily routine, try putting these ideas into practice:
- Set a specific time for exercise each day.
- Include your family. Try these fun exercise games.
- Keep comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running shoes in the car or at your office to be exercise ready.
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop, or around your block.
- Download your favorite music to keep you motivated to move.
- Do 10-minute mini exercises throughout the day.
- Take small breaks throughout your workday to stretch, run up and down the stairs, or get some fresh air as you walk around the outside of your office or home. Click here for stretches you can do right from your desk.
- Spend time working in your yard or doing chores around the house.
- Stand up and walk around during conference calls.
- Have a dance party with your kids as you clean up toys or set the table for dinner.
- Play a game of soccer, baseball, or kickball with your family.
- Combine other activities with exercise. For example, when watching your favorite TV show, do a 30-second plank during each commercial, walk around the field at your child’s soccer game, or calf raises while you wash the dishes.
- Do a yoga routine before bedtime.
Every little bit adds up. Doing something is better than doing nothing! Once being active has become part of your daily routine, try to increase your weekly active time. Aim for 30-60 minutes of moderate activities most days of the week. Add more intense activities, or pick up the speed once you’re ready. Most importantly, choose activities that you enjoy. Fitness should not be a chore – it should be fun! Here are some ideas you can try:
- Attend a local fitness class such as Yoga, Zumba, or water aerobics.
- Join a neighborhood walking group.
- Find an online workout you can do from the comfort of your own home.
- Build your own workout plan. Click here to see how. Keep things interesting by doing a different activity each day of the week.
- Monday – walk on a treadmill or go for a brisk walk outside.
- Tuesday – strength training with weights.
- Wednesday – go for a bike ride
- Thursday – do body weight activities (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, planks, etc.)
- Friday – go swimming
- Saturday – do a resistance band workout.
- Sunday – rest day.
You’ll need something yummy to eat after all that physical activity. BBQ Chicken Quesadillas is a great recipe that you can whip up quick.You might remember a post from earlier this summer called Cook Once, Eat Twice. Instead of cooking chicken like the recipe shows, I used shredded chicken from earlier this week. I followed the steps of the recipe, but used the skillet to heat the chicken instead of cook it. Give this recipe a try then come on back and share how you made physical activity a part of your routine this week. Enjoy!
Candi Merritt & Mary Anna Henke
Certified Nutrition Education Ambassadors