If you’re trying to get healthy or find a way to get in more exercise, you have to remember that there is a difference between exercise and daily activity. But don’t let that difference get in your way. There are many daily activities that can help improve overall health while completing chores and spending time with loved ones.
Taking the dog for an extra walk or rolling around on the ground with your cat is a great way to elevate your heart rate and entertain your pet at the same time. Throw a ball and run with your friend to retrieve it. The CDC says that even the simple act of having and caring for a pet has been shown to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce feelings of loneliness.
Kids have a lot of energy, and running around after them on a glorified obstacle course is a great way to get everyone moving. The perfect pseudo-exercise for a sunny day! In the process, you will also create lifelong memories with your kiddos to be cherished by all.
Gardening and yard work are shown to decrease chances of dementia as well as stress. In two different studies, people in their 60’s and 70’s who gardened on a regular basis had 36-47% lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not garden. It might also improve depression symptoms since the sights and smells of a garden promote relaxation.
In addition, growing your own herbs, spices, or fruits and veggies is quite the rewarding experience and can be enjoyed in your home cooking!
Yard work like mowing the lawn or pulling weeds or feeding the birds provides similar health benefits as gardening, often with the added bonus of reaching the American Heart Association daily recommendation target of 10,000 steps in a day.
Do you find yourself eating out a lot? All those calories can add up, restricting your efforts if you’re trying to get healthy or lose weight. To cut the calories, start cooking at home. According to studies, those who cook and eat at home regularly consume 130 less calories a day than those who eat out.
If you have a garden, reap the fruits of your labor by cooking the items you’ve grown and harvested. Not only do you know what is going into your food, but can control the quantity, reducing food waste.
It sounds surprising, but it’s true: traveling does have mental and physical health benefits. According to a study, traveling twice a year:
To get the most out of these benefits when traveling, remember to eat healthy and opt to walk when you can. The sights are better and more personal this way and the increased walking is good for you physically. So remember to take time for yourself and take off work and travel.