Exercise and Physical Activity Ideas

Activity at the office

If your job includes lots of sitting, try adding these short bursts of activity to your day:

  • Use your commute to do some extra walking. Park several blocks away, or get off the bus a few stops early.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator, at least for a few floors.
  • Suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.
  • Go the extra distance when possible: Get your coffee on another floor (use the stairs) or use the washroom that’s the farthest from your office.
  • If you need to speak to a co-worker, walk to that person’s office or station rather than using e-mail or the phone.
  • Use your morning and afternoon breaks to take quick 15-minute walks.

Coaching and teaching

If you are bored with a sport or activity that you once enjoyed, coaching or giving instruction can renew your interest.

  • Youth leagues for organized sports are often seeking good coaches.
  • Take classes to become a certified fitness leader.
  • If you cycle, offer to lead a group of schoolchildren on a bike ride to teach bicycle safety.
  • Offer to lead a walking group.

Competition

Competition can be a good motivator because:

  • It gives you a specific and measurable goal to work toward, such as walking or running a 5 km or 10 km race.
  • Learning the details of a new course or event and then preparing for it can restore the excitement and challenge that’s gone from more familiar competitions.

Helping to plan or organize a competitive event instead of entering it can provide friendship and fun with others interested in the same activity.

Cross-training

Cross-training is the combination of various activities to spread the work among various muscle groups. Cross-training has some important advantages:

  • It prevents boredom by providing variety. It can help you break out of a slump.
  • It helps you maintain balance among your various muscle groups. For instance, runners who have developed powerful leg muscles might cross-train to strengthen the upper body, which does not get a good workout from running.
  • It reduces the risk of injuries because the same muscles are not being stressed in the same way during every workout.

Some exercise machines, such as elliptical cross-trainers, can help you cross-train. Or you can use exercise machines that give variety to your program by working muscle groups that aren’t heavily used in your primary activity.

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