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Double Duty for Life: Fitness without Exercise

Double Duty for Life: Fitness without Exercise

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You surely have a dear friend who has voiced her desire to lose weight for years, and yet never seems to come close to achieving her goal. This "friend" has her reasons: she loathes exercise, hates sweating, lacks time, and does not have the motivation required. She may even be overly tired as a result of a hypothyroid problem or a heavy load at work and at home.

But what if you, like your friend here, absolutely abhor physical exertion in the typical sense? Could you still possibly manage to shed pounds, or merely keep up your fitness level, without hitting the gym? And what if you could round out the quality of your life a little more in the process? This is indeed a welcome and realistic possibility, especially in light of a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found women need an hour of exercise a day to simply maintain their current weight.

While we cannot escape the fact that mobility is essential to a healthy life, we can be active in a more pleasant and efficient fashion. How, do you ask?

Incorporate a Little More Action into Your Daily Routine

After-dinner walks: Instead of plopping on the couch and tuning out to the television after dinner, go for a brisk stroll with your family or Fido. This will not only zap calories and aid digestion, but give you an opportunity to spend more quality time together.

Find a television-alternative: There has to be something you enjoy more than being glued to the television screen! We all know that is conducive to compulsive snacking any way. For every two hours of watching TV per day, the Nurses Health Project points out that a person is 23 percent more at risk of obesity. Sketching, cooking, reading, taking a warm bath, yoga, journaling....Use your imagination and find a creative outlet for an all-around healthier you.

Park far away: Parking at the other end of the lot from your destination, be it a store or office, means you will have to walk that much farther. Over time, these extra steps will add up to make a positive impact on your waistline.

Play with your kids: Chasing the little ones around outdoors can help you stay fit. There isn't a parent around who will tell you differently. Visit the park regularly to knock out two birds (fitness and family time) with one stone.

Clean house: Research has found that women who do regular housecleaning are leaner. Just think, vacuuming for thirty minutes can burn 150 calories, while washing dishes by hand can use as many as 80 calories. So pick up a broom! Making your house sparkle will brighten up your abode, enhance your feelings of productivity, and yield long-term slimming effects.

Sit less: Pace the room while you talk on the phone, get out of your chair frequently to grab water, and take frequent breaks to stretch or walk throughout the day. A desk job does not have to equal an utterly sedentary life.

Take the stairs: Say "NO!" to elevators and your backside will thank you later! Take the stairs whenever possible for help toning your legs and rear, even if you have a load of grocery bags in tow. A study in the European Heart Journal observed a group who put this into practice reaped the following results in three months: increased lung capacity, as well as decreased waist size, body fat, diastolic blood pressure, and "bad" cholesterol. Walk to the market: If you are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of the grocery store, put on your comfortable shoes! The truth is you will be more likely to make better purchases this way. Planning your meals daily and purchasing fresh produce is a healthy habit of many who travel to the market by foot.

Even vast, vigorous exercise is meaningless without a properly balanced diet. Direct your good "friend" to navigate our Diet & Exercise section for more articles on eating well.

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