If you aren’t motivated to exercise, maybe it’s time to look at fitness with a fresh perspective by finding fun and easy ways to incorporate movement into your everyday life.
Maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising on a daily basis is an important way to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. But finding the motivation to stick with a routine can be challenging, especially in the winter months.
If exercise feels like a boring task or a burden on your time and energy, then you’re less likely to make it a daily habit. The trick is to make fitness fun again by incorporating creative ways to move your body that will get your heart rate up and your oxygen flowing so that you actually feel good after working out instead of fatigued. This way, fitness will become an essential part of your health and well-being – not just something you do because you’re supposed to.
Here are 10 interesting ideas for moving more without paying for a gym membership.
1. Make fitness fun.
If fitness seems more like a chore than a form of self-care, focus on activities that appeal to you. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to mean spending 60 minutes in a gym. It could also be swimming, dancing, gardening, yoga, tai chi or taking a walk around your neighborhood. Pick activities that suit your lifestyle taking into account your budget, physical capabilities and amount of available free time.
2. Look for chances to move your body.
Working out doesn’t have to be limited to sports or structured fitness programs. There are opportunities to move throughout the day – you just have to search for them. This could be using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. It could mean parking farther away than usual so that you have to take more steps to get to the front door.
3. Turn exercise into a social event.
Some people are motivated to exercise when they have someone to work out with. Find a friend or family member to be your fitness buddy so you can motivate and reward each other. Turn getting fit into a family affair. Arrange for outings that are physically active, such as bowling, tennis, rowing or hiking. It’s surprising the number of steps you can fit into your day simply by walking around a mall, museum or zoo with loved ones.
4. Get active around the house.
We get exercise at home without even realizing it. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, washing the car, rearranging furniture or making home repairs are all physical activities that burn calories and help keep you fit. Keeping some exercise equipment at home are strong motivators. Options include a fitness ball, exercise DVDs, a stationary bike, free weights or jump rope.
5. Exercise while watching TV.
If you love to binge watch TV shows and movies, but feel guilty about it, why not multitask by exercising simultaneously? This is an excellent time to put that fitness ball, stationary bike, free weights or jump rope you have lying around to good use. Pilates and stretching are also fun to do while watching your favorite shows.
6. Try keeping up with pets or small kids.
The amount of energy that toddlers, kittens and puppies possess is downright awe-inspiring! Keeping up with little kids and animals is a fun and easy way to burn calories. Whether you’re playing hide-and-seek with children, dangling a string in front of a kitten or playing fetch with an ecstatic puppy, it won’t take long for them to wear you out in the best possible way.
7. Enjoy nature’s bounty.
Stepping outside and taking in fresh air is sometimes all the motivation you need to get moving. If you’ve been stuck indoors for what feels like a long time, do yourself a favor and take a stroll around the neighborhood, spend an hour or two at the park or hike along some local nature trails. It will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in a much better mood.
8. Walk or ride a bike whenever possible.
Take advantage of beautiful weather and consider walking or riding a bike whenever you need to run an errand in the neighborhood. Try biking to the post office instead of driving. Grab a couple of reusable totes and walk to the local supermarket. You’ll burn extra calories on the walk home when you’re carrying a few pounds’ worth of groceries.
9. Stretch those muscles more often.
Sometimes we put off working out because our muscles feel too stiff or sore. It could be a sign that the body has been in a stationary position for too long. If you find yourself feeling better once you start to stretch your torso, neck and limbs, this could mean your body is craving exercise and that it’s time to move.
10. Join Team Grant.
Team Grant is free online fitness network created by the Brian Grant Foundation to unite people with Parkinson’s and their supporters from around the world through exercise. It’s a fun and easy way to track your movement and experiment with new exercises that you may not have considered trying before. The more workouts you try, the more badges you earn. Visit Team Grant to sign up!