It seems strange for a gym owner to say that, but hear me out. I am a huge fan of being fit and healthy, in whatever form that takes. Yes, I love the gym and bootcamp because they are structured, predictable, motivating and effective. That said, if you hang around me enough, you will inevitably hear me say ‘never waste a chance to work out’ as I sprint up a set of stairs or lift something to help someone carry a package, etc.
Fact is, we are surrounded by opportunities to be more fit.
Sylvan Lake is getting better and better, each year, at featuring places to walk, bike, run, skate, etc. Getting out and moving is not only good exercise, it is amazing for mood improvement, Vitamin D levels, community and family building.
You have likely heard about parking your vehicle farther away from the entry door to the store you are heading to. That can make a real difference and a simple wristwatch can count your steps, and tell you just how far (or not) you are walking each day.
Stairs and elevators are another great way to burn up a few extra calories and whittle the waistline down, while strengthening the heart and lungs. My life doesn’t involve many elevators in Sylvan Lake, but I do go up and down the stairs to my office dozens of times each day – and if you’ve seen me … I RUN!
Taking the kids to the park can also be a chance for you to sneak in a few pullups, or chase the kids around the structure. Carry them up the stairs, then run down to catch them at the slide base. Let them take their little bike while you power walk or jog to the park. Choose the park up on the hill, instead of the closest one.
What if you set a daily agenda for exercise, such that you had to look for it everywhere? Like a daily goal of 10 push ups, 25 lunges, 10 burpees and five pullups.
Then, as you go through your day, you are on the lookout for a place to sneak these in. You could do the pushups anywhere; in your bedroom before you go, at the office, etc. Lunges? Again, easy. Lunge to your car – see how many people you can get to stare at you, and just smile and wave! Burpees, yup – you can do them anywhere! That’s why we love them, no excuses. Pull Ups – OK, this one you need to spy a set of monkey bars or a (structurally sound) overhead pipe. A little more creativity required, but easy. Kids in hockey? Ten laps around the walking track while they warm up – done.
What if, instead of a daily agenda, you had a points system for each one – and had a competition with your friend – to see who could rack up the most points in a week?
Now, everywhere you look is a chance to work out.
In our latest program at the gym, we gave people points for running up and down the big stairs in Calgary or Edmonton. The cool thing to notice was that at any given time, the stairs were full of people running up and down them. That is the greatest thing about all of the neat stuff our town is doing for us: build it and they will come!