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Leading an active lifestyle doesn’t have to be a chore! This is from my blog http://www.twoeastcoastsistas.com/
A few weekends ago, our family had a great afternoon out when we decided on a trip to the local ice skating rink. With wobbly legs we slid around the rink for a solid hour and a half, and while this was great exercise, we were having so much fun, the time just flew by so quickly. While our youngest took to the ice with the confidence of an all-star hockey player and the finesse of Happy Gilmore, the eldest was balanced and calculating in her moves to be sure not to fall too much. The adults in the group oiled our joints, found some form and used muscles that we were not expecting to use, and hadn’t used for a while. We had an upper body work out trying to retrieve the kids from their falls, a lower body workout keeping ourselves upright and a great abdominal workout from all the laughs and believe me there were many! The energy expelled skating was testament to the peaceful and relaxing mood of the household that evening. The calmness and happiness within our family unit was bliss.

ice-skating
What we experienced that day, was incidental exercise (IE).
Moving our bodies around the house or the office on a daily basis, expends energy. Not a lot, but enough to make a difference by the end of the day. Sitting down and getting up, walking around, cleaning, taking out the garbage and all those other little bits and pieces we do that make up our modern lives slowly but surely chip away at our energy reserves.
This “little by little” cumulative effect is the key to incidental exercise. Add this extra activity to some of the classic informal exercise regimens, such as when we take the stairs instead of a lift, or when we can only find parking at the other end of the shopping centre car park and you can be well on your way to surprising fitness improvement and weight loss. We may think these instances are inconvenient, but that little annoyance is actually doing your body a great favour. There are people who hate the idea of exercise (like my friend Eve!) because the formality of a gym class is boring. But IE can be slipped into any time of the day, during work, home life, school and holidays, and it need not be thought of as exercise. Digging and weeding the garden can work up a mighty sweat while being outside in the fresh air. Turning your favourite music up LOUD while dancing around the house, doing housework. Playing on park equipment WITH the kids instead of sitting on the park bench and only watching. Walking the golf course instead of using a motorized buggy. Having your own boogie board to use at the beach instead of just the kids.
In fact, when you think about it IE is exactly the same as child’s-play. We encourage kids to get outside, but we should do the same thing.


Posted by mom78526, 8th May 2015


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  • I find a good game of tag or stuck in the mud always gets my heart rate up


    • It would!!! We are planning a trip to Tree Tops high ropes course which will be good for getting our muscles going for the day.

    Reply

  • I find incidental exercise much easier than having to find one big chunk of time – you just have to make sure you get enough of it.


    • Agreed the more you can get the better and even better if you can involve your whole family and have fun with it.

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