Is being healthy a discrete part of your day, or the way you approach your day?
I’ve written before about how much I love the Torqboard at Flywheel. It gives any rider a sense of how effective her ride was in terms of caloric burn or general exertion. Spending 45 minutes in a dark room listening to EDM is a really specific way to get your heart going. Part of the reason I think people like spinning is that its contained. You spin for 45 minutes, sweat yourself into a red-faced mess and then you can cross “workout” off your to-do list. I have no hard feelings about this. This is me most days.
But a spin class is a mere 45 minutes so to paraphrase Sonny from Grease “What are you suppose to do with the rest of the 23 hours and 15 minutes of the day?”
An active lifestyle is totally different from an hour spent at the gym. An active lifestyle is all the ways you choose something healthy or active over something less healthy or sedentary. Do you walk instead of riding the subway a short distance? How do you spend your free time on the weekends: long boozy brunches or a hike? When you plan a trip, do you hunt for the best restaurants and bars or do you look for something to hike or climb or swim? Don’t forget: you can do both.
These choices aren’t mutually exclusive of course. I want to enforce the fact that I write this with no judgement. No one is better at sleeping till noon and then watching Homeland on an iPad in bed all day than me. Seriously. Try me. If iPads existed in high school I would hold this superlative title in a yearbook.
I think an active lifestyle is a series of incremental decisions that add up to a general outlook on how you want to spend your time. I think choosing to be active has some pretty strong advantages: increased energy, more creative hangout sessions and a whole lot more fresh air.
Let’s say you haven’t seen a friend in a while, what’s your go-to invite to catch up? Maybe it’s a brunch date. Consider instead, if you went for a walk or a hike together. You probably won’t burn as many calories or break the same sweat as you do during Flywheel, but this isn’t a substitute for that. Still go spinning, just don’t stop there. Don’t check the box on “workout” and sit around the rest of the day. If you have dinner plans, ask your friend if she/he wants to meet earlier and walk there together. I’ve found the more I run around, the more running around feels easy the less tired I feel in general, and the less I want to sit on a couch. That feels good. Really good.
The change for you might be slight, deciding not to wait for the crosstown bus and to walk through the park. Or maybe it’s to assemble your new chair instead of hiring someone. Either way, here are some ways to workout that don’t feel like working out. The road map to a more active lifestyle:
From Nerd Fitness: 25 ways to exercise without realizing it
From 12 minute Athlete: 17 things that don’t feel like exercise (but actually are)
Any other tips on how to make your day-to-day more active?