How to Exercise When You Hate it - Try Incidental Exercise
Are You Lazy to Exercise?
How do you respond to a question 'What are some non-traditional or incidental things I can do that will count as "exercise"?' or 'Can you recommend any incidental exercise for people who are lazy to exercise?'
After going through the exercise routines that were taught at the gym, I realized our daily chores, if done properly, are actually exercises in itself.
So without even realizing it, the simple action such as mopping the floor is a form of incidental exercise.
Exercise Workouts with Incidental Workouts
The basic information that you need to remember is to exercise our body core (which comprises of the belly, the mid and lower back) the lower and our upper body. We also need to incorporate strength and Cardio in these exercises.
Therefore my recommended incidental exercises will fall within this grouping, to ensure a balanced incidental exercise routine. I also do yoga and will recommend easy yoga poses that you can do, without even realizing that you are exercising!
So what are the incidental exercises for people who are lazy or hate to exercise?
If you Google, incidental exercises for people who are lazy or hate to exercise, you will find several recommendations which will include using the stairs instead of the elevators etc etc. The list goes on to even suggest placing your TV remote control away from you. It however does not tell you the benefits of the suggested action.
I will however break up my suggestions, based on which part of your body, you will be exercising. This way, you will be aware of your action, and will appreciate the improvements that will come out of the routine. Hopefully, this will motivate you to finally take up the 'real exercise'!
Incidental exercises to exercise your Lower Body
- When answering a phone call: Don't sit as you would normally do. Instead stand next to a wall and with your back flat against this wall, slide down until you come to a position like you are sitting in a chair. Your knee will be at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Stay in this position throughout your telephone conversation. If initially you find this difficult, then don't do the 90 degrees, go slightly higher. As you get used to it, make 90 degrees as your target. This will give you a nice sexy thigh.
- Walking: As walking is both a great exercise for the lower body and for your cardiovascular system i.e. your heart and lung; you must find every opportunity to walk. Like parking your car a bit further away than your usual spot when you go shopping or to the office. Walking outdoors also mean that you will be walking on both even and uneven surfaces. This will indirectly exercise your core (abs and back) as well as improving your sense of balance. Other ideas to motivate you to walk is to get off the bus, one stop early, or take your dog for a walk. Remember to wear your walking shoes. When you are done, then change to your other shoes for office or shopping etc.
- Raising the Leg will exercise the Calf Muscle. When you raise your leg as per photo ( and go up and down in that position) you are exercising your calf muscle. Even if you hate to exercise, you can do this when watching TV or when you need to raise yourself, to take something at higher level (watch your balance) If possible, repeat this movement say 5 times and increase as you deem fit.
- Using the Stairs: Whenever possible, use the stairs instead of the escalators or elevators. If you are going to the 10th floor, either stop at the 8th or 12th floor, then walk up or down the stairs. Walking up and down stairs are not only good exercises for the legs but are also good cardiovascular workout. It will help lower your bad cholesterol! Research has also shown that walking down the stairs can reduce blood sugar levels. ( As reported by Dr. Heinz Drexel in the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in 2004). I hope this will motivate you to use the stair, even though you are lazy to exercise. If you have knee problem, then walking down can be a challenge. So you need to be extra careful. I have a knee problem, so I use the stair railing for support and balance.
Incidental exercises to exercise your Upper Body
- Mopping : Mopping the floor not only will exercise your upper body but also your oblique (i.e. your side abs muscle)
- Vacuum or Sweeping the floor : This is good for the shoulder but does not exercise your oblique as much as mopping. Play your favorite music while sweeping or vacuuming, and if you dance, it will help with your coordination and make you feel good.
- Bathing your dog or cat : If you hate to exercise but have to bath your cat or dog, you will be happy to hear that this will work out your shoulder and arm. Not bad for someone who is lazy to exercise!
- Lifting Baby Up : If you have a baby, then the playful lifting of the baby up and down can be a great way to exercise both your core and your upper body, especially your shoulder. A word of caution here: You are not tossing the baby into the air but only lifting the baby up and down between your chest and head level, keeping the baby within your grips all the time. Check the baby's reaction every time you are about to lift. The safest way to do this is by sitting down with a good mattress underneath.
- Beating the carpet : If weather permits, instead of vacuuming the carpet, try hanging out the carpet for a good beating with a carpet rod. This will exercise your arm, shoulder as well as your abs including your oblique.
Incidental exercises to exercise your Core (belly and mid & lower back)
Besides the exercises described earlier in the Upper Body that also benefits the core, the following are additional incidental exercises for your core.
- Lifting Stuffs like piles of newspaper, plates, laundry bag with both hands will exercise your front abs. Lifting with your left hand, will exercise your right side oblique muscle. Likewise, lifting with your right hand, will exercise your left side oblique muscle. However please take care when lifting, so as not to injure your back. Lift the object as close as possible to your body. Keep your feet, shoulder width apart and bend your knees & keep your back straight. If you tighten your stomach muscle when lifting, it will reduce any unnecessary force on your back muscle.
- Laughter, surprisingly will also work out your core! So watch a good comedy movie or listen to a good joke and laugh out loud. You not only will be relieving some of your stress levels, but will be exercising your abs muscle at the same time.
Do you know that having sex will raise your heartbeat and is a good form of aerobic exercise?
It will also improves your blood circulation as having sex, will pump oxygen around the body.
An incidental exercise that you will really enjoy!
Incidental exercises for a a full body workout
The following incidental exercises will work out the whole body which includes the lower and upper body and your core. If done at a faster pace, it can also be a cardio workout!
- Washing and vacuuming your car/truck
- Gardening which includes mowing the lawn, sweeping the autumn leaves.
- Shovel the snow, if you live in snowy location. Lucky you!
- Volunteer for your local community clean up campaign or other activities organized by them, or by your children's school etc. Be active and participate fully as these will burn your calories more.
- Join your kids in their physical games, you will be surprised how exhausting this can be.
Yoga poses as part of your Incidental Exercise
Most of us will imagine yoga as some form of exercise that is difficult and you need to be very flexible in order to accomplish it. Although it is true to a certain extend, there are however some poses which are very easy. You can do it without even realizing that you are doing yoga. A good example of easy yoga are the Diamond Pose (Vajrasana Pose), Savasana Pose and the Eye Exercise. These are not incidental in the true meaning of doing something casually. I have included them into this article as it is a simple exercise and even if you are lazy to exercise, there is no reason not to do them.
The Diamond Pose
The next time you watch TV, sit on the floor (carpeted floor will be better) as in the Diamond Pose (see photo). This seated posture is achieved by sitting on your heels by placing your legs, feet and knee together. Keep your back straight and place your palms on top of your thighs. Hold this position for as long as you can.
This pose is a good aid to your digestive system and will minimize your problems of acidity and gas in your stomach. You can practice this pose after your meal or any time that is convenient to you.
This pose will also help give relief to your back pain as well as waist pain. It is also a good pose for women who suffer from menstrual disorders. For pregnant women, practicing this pose on a regular basis will result in an easy childbirth.
The Savasana Pose
This is a resting pose, but not the same as sleeping. This pose helps to relax your body and mind. If you have had a tough and tiring day, this is a great pose to practice. This is a real easy exercise for people who hate to exercise.
To do this pose, lay on the floor as per the photograph. Spread your leg about one foot apart. Lay your arm on the side with the palm facing upwards.
Relax your whole body, including the face and mind. Breathe naturally. Stay in this pose for about 5 to 10 minutes.
To exit, roll your whole body to your left side, then to your right side. Then from your right side, raise your body slowly by pressing your palm to the floor. Your head should come up last. Then sit upright with your eye close for about 1 minute, then slowly open your eye. You will feel refreshed and rejuvenated after doing this pose.
So whenever you feel tired and need a quick fix, do this pose.
- Eye Exercise
This is the easiest exercise even if you are lazy to exercise. When your eye feel tired, do this simple eye exercise to strengthen the eye muscle. Without turning your head, move your gaze as follow:
- Move your eye up, then down. Do this 5 times, then continue with
- Moving your eye to the right, then left. Do this 5 times, then continue with
- Moving your eye to the top right, then bottom left. Do this 5 times, then continue with
- Moving your eye to the top left, then bottom right. Do this 5 times, then continue with
- Rolling your eyes clockwise, then counterclockwise.
Breathe normally when you do this. You can watch the video below for another version of the eye exercise.
Before attempting the incidental exercise, check with your doctor
Just to be on the safe side, consult your doctor before attempting the above recommendations. The incidental exercises may sounds gentle, but your doctor will guide you as what will be the best option to take.
Thank you for reading 'Lazy or Hate to Exercise? Try these Incidental Exercises'
Exercise can boost our energy level as well as our mood. It can also improve our thinking by increasing the hormones in our body. Exercise can also reduce stress. The benefits are manifold. I sincerely hope you will finally progress from incidental exercise to 'proper exercise'
Enjoy your day.