As I SAT on my bed watching tonight's episode of Biggest Loser I was challenged to think of the excuses I had used to not work out today. Pittsburgh traffic combined with a couple of snow flakes added over an hour to my commute home so I missed Zumba. After picking JJ up from basketball practice I was so cold when I walked in the door that I couldn't imagine going back out to head to the Y. The new season of my favorite show was starting tonight and even though I DVR'd it, I didn't want to be up too late. Those sound like great excuses.
Then I was reminded of something I learned early on in my journey of improved health - Exercise is simply increased movement. By changing my definition of exercise from having to do heart pounding, sweat dripping, breath stealing aerobics for an hour to simply increasing my movement, the guilt that used to come with not "exercising" was gone. Don't get me wrong - it's important and necessary to do the heart pounding, sweat dripping, breath stealing aerobic exercise, but there is also benefit to moving more than before.
Since making that realization two years ago, I've been having a lot of fun discovering different ways to add movement to my day. And it is SO easy!! I park far away from the entrance to the grocery store. I take the steps instead of the elevator. I dance around while doing the dishes. I raise my toes while sitting in meetings. I use the copier at the far end of the office. I walk around the school or track while my kids are at sports' practices. Even when time is tight, I can find a way to add more movement to my day.
So tonight, I got up off the bed, grabbed my exercise band and did arm exercises while Bob screamed at his team on the treadmills. I marched in place while Dulvett challenged his team to step it up. Did I break a sweat? No. Did I burn calories? Yes. Do I feel guilty for not running today? No. Did I exercise today? YES!
Think about that - how can you increase your movement today?