Fitness posts don’t really dominate this blog, and I’m not a trainer or heavy into sports, but I do love to stay active and I find incorporating movement in my life to be very important. I love to do a number of sports, from skiing to cycling, but sometimes life gets in the way. To stay sane, I find it really important to make an effort to still stay active, despite time constraints. Here are a few tips as to how I do it:
1. I do exercises while I watch TV. During the down time I have in the morning and when I get home in the evening, I like to do a few crunches, leg lifts, squats, and things like that. If I’m feeling energetic I’ll even ride my stationary bike for a bit or lift weights. I get the reward of watching my favourite shows, but also I get a workout.
2. I take the stairs. This is a no-brainer when you think about it, but it’s easy not to do it. In some places these days, it’s hard to even find stairs! When I do, I take them. It’s little details like this that help stay in shape!
3. I cycle. This is a big one. I cycle most places, and I find that even with Berlin’s excellent public transport system, I can still cycle a lot of places faster than I can take the train. If the train involves a ride on one S-Bahn or U-Bahn line, it’s usually a bit faster, but if I need to change or I’d have to take a tram or bus, cycling is faster. The weather in Berlin isn’t always great, but I find the way around this is to dress appropriately. Cycling so much really makes me wish I’d done it more in Canada. Looking back, I haven’t lived anywhere where it wasn’t possible to cycle to school or work within a reasonable amount of time. In some cases it would have been faster to cycle, as it is here. There are a lot of benefits as well other than just the fitness factor. It’s cheap (nearly free), and it’s great for the environment!
4. I take short walks. Even if it’s just to get up and walk around the house or office for a bit, I get up and walk around. I think it’s really important to take breaks from sitting.
5. I make time. Sometimes, it’s just necessary to make the effort to carve out time to get some exercise. When you think about it, 30 minutes isn’t that much out of a day, even when you’re busy. I hate the gym so I don’t go, but I make an effort to do some stretching, light weights, run, walk, cycle…whatever I can manage to do in that amount of time.
6. I’ve found a number of activities I enjoy doing. It’s really important to actually enjoy some form of physical activity. That way, it doesn’t feel like a chore. When you’re busy, doing something you don’t really enjoy feels like extra work. So, try to find something you like. Try different things out…there are so many workouts and sports out there that there has to be something enjoyable to do.