We all know that diet and exercise are important components in health and wellness, but how much exercise do you need to get, and how intense does it need to be?
While working out at the gym may be a great way to both slim down and add muscle, gym memberships can be pricey, and they also eat up big chunks of your precious time. These can both be difficult commitments for many people.
Your body doesn’t only burn calories and build muscle while you’re at the gym, however. Below are suggestions on how you can build activity into your day so that you can burn fat and build muscle even when you can’t make it to the gym.
Walking is Good Medicine
The ancient philosopher Hypocrites wrote that walking is the best medicine. The air was cleaner then, but getting out and about (or at least about) is still a great way to get rid of some extra calories.
Consider setting a minimum radius by block for how far something needs to be for you to start the car. If it’s within, say, five blocks or so, just walk. Blocks are a big unit of measurement, but if you do go to the store, consider parking further from the entrance. Every little bit makes a difference, after all.
Walking during breaks at work can burn some calories, even if it’s just around the office. It can also be a great way to help your circulation and give your eyes a rest if you have a desk job.
Walking Can Be Fun
Walking doesn’t only have to be something that you do when you need something. Consider taking a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day to take a walk outside. It can be a great way to reset to either prepare you for the day ahead or wind down from a busy day.
Too many resources recommend getting a dog to encourage weight loss. It’s true that having a dog to walk can be great motivation but dogs also mean a huge commitment of time and energy. If getting a dog isn’t in the books right now, consider visiting the nearest animal shelter.
Many of these facilities will be more than happy to let you walk one of the dogs waiting to be adopted. As most of these facilities are under-funded, volunteers like you may be the only chance that the animals get to have their exercise too.
Medium Distance Bike Rides
Getting a bicycle can be a great way to go intermediate distances, especially if you won’t need to carry anything back. In cities, bikes can be even faster than cars when you figure in traffic. They’re also cheaper to run. Different cities and towns have different rules on where you can ride a bike, however, so be sure to do some research before you take to the streets, bike-lanes or sidewalks.
They can also be a great all-terrain vehicle, if you find one with different gears. This is handy for rural towns that may have a paved down-town with some more difficult streets and back-roads. In cities, bikes without gears are often just as good.
Bikes can be fairly expensive when new, so if you’re low on funds, consider checking second-hand stores, yard sales, and the local newspaper for used bikes. Keep in mind too that they can help to save on gas and parking fees, so a well-used bike can pay itself off pretty quickly.
We hope that this article may have helped you to come up with a few ways to incorporate more movement into your everyday routine. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also take some time out for exercising, especially exercises that build muscle.
Losing weight might be your key priority right now, and that’s fine, but there are also benefits to having more muscle.