How to Exercise Without Realizing It

Do you get nervous about trying challenging and new things? Does your heart race and do your palms get sweaty? This happened to me when I tried my first ever yoga class in vancouver, I was absolutely terrified.

I was thinking I’m not flexible enough, I am out of shape… my brain was going crazy. I was already sweating beofre the class even started.

I was getting ready to try something I had always wanted to do but had been too scared.

An hour later, I left a sweaty mess…a sweaty mess with a giant smile on my face.

Today will mark the beginning of another first. My first 30 day challenge! There are many yoga and fitness studios in Burnaby, New West and Port Moody you can do your own 30 day challenge at.

So I though I could talke about exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise, and those excuse we all make and we all hear too often.

Let go of the excuses

“But I’m too tired… But I don’t like exercise.”

I’ve heard these excuses more than I care to count, and I think we need to stop making excuses right now.  That’s right. Today we’re going to eliminate some of the common excuse people have when it comes to exercise.

Another one “I don’t have time” You only feel like you don’t have time because you don’t make it a priority. Anything you truly want to do or love to do you make a priority so you always have time. Make fintess, yoga, bootcamp, dancing, running, spinning whatever exercise you secretly love… make it a priority. Find something you love and it will be much easier. Also find a yoga and fitness studio that is convenient to go to.

So, there.

So let’s take a look at a bunch of different ways to stay healthy without actually realizing you’re exercising. Hopefully this will help you to find that thing you secretly love… or maybe something you tolorate!

The Truth About Exercise

There is no amount of exercise that can cancel out a diet full of processed foods, junk food, and liquid calories so don’t forget abs are also made in the kitchen.

For whatever reason, human beings are amazing at justifying and rationalizing the most ridiculous things.  We use these rationalizations to justify horrible behavior, and then compound that decision by saying things like “well, I already made one bad decision, so today is ruined.  I’ll start tomorrow.”

In order for you to live a healthy life you need to understand a few key facts:

  • Exercising for an hour, burning 300-400 calories, and then saying “I earned this” to justify stuffing 1000 calories worth of junk food down your throat is a losing battle.
  • Exercise does not mean “run on a treadmill for four hours and be miserable.” Exercise is anything that elevates your heart rate and takes your body outside of its normal comfort zone.
  • Your diet is responsible for 80-90% of your success or failure when it comes to losing weight and getting healthier.  If I could only tell you to fix one thing, your diet or exercising, it would be your diet. Every time.
  • Every decision counts and every choice adds up. One bad decision does not ruin a day.  One day off doesn’t ruin a week. One week off doesn’t ruin a month. EVERY SINGLE DECISION you make can take you closer or further away from your ultimate goal. Stop worrying about the decision you made 10 minutes ago or yesterday and focus on the next one.

Combine these four facts to help you acheive sucess:

Exercise is a bonus.  Exercise helps your heart get stronger, can help build muscle, usually gets you outside the house and absorbing vitamin D, and brings you a litany of other health benefits.

Exercise is not an excuse to eat like crap. Instead, you need to reframe your mindset. Instead of “I earned this” start telling yourself: “If I’m going to exercise, I might as well make it worth it by eating right too.”

Continue to make good choices and don’t get discouraged by the few bad ones we make. Exercise will help you notice the changes to your body and your mental health. Notice how much better you feel, sleep, think and carry yourself.

Exercising Without Exercising

When you say “but I don’t like exercising,” what you’re really saying is: “I don’t enjoy the particular type of exercise.”

If you don’t like lifting weights in a gym, don’t do it. If you don’t like running, don’t do it.

Find “your” passion, find the exercise you enjoy doing, find a way to do it a min. of 3 x a week and that with making better decisions about the food you put in your body.

Here are some ideas on ways to exercise that don’t feel like exercise:

Hiking, especially with friends – Get out and get active invite as many friends as you want or find a hiking group. This is also a great way to meet new people.

Walking –  Go for a walk.  Even a 15-minute brisk walk is enough time!  Walk with friends have walking meetings. Find a way to add those steps.

Rock Climbing – It’s one of the best arm/back/forearm workouts in existence, you also get a real sense of accomplishment when you reach the top of the wall, and all climbing routes are graded so you can level up the challenge as you get stronger/fitter/better.  It’s a fit nerd’s dream!

Dancing –  There are so many different styles: swing dancing, hip hop, zumba, tango, flemenco, tap and more. You’d be surprised what you can sign up for and what will elevate your heart rate.

Roughhousing with your kids. Don’t forget what it’s like to be a kid – it keeps you young.

Martial arts – Whether it’s Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Capoeira, there’s a martial art out there that will make you feel like a badass.

Build a standing desk – It’s no surprise that there’s a strong correlation between sitting all day and an early grave.  Why not fix your posture, strengthen your legs, and spend the day being more productive with a standing desk?

Stop meeting for coffee – If somebody wants to meet up with you for coffee, suggest something active: tossing a frisbee, going for a bike ride – anything that gets you up and moving.

Clean – Ugh, nobody likes to clean, but make it fun. Blast the music dance and sing while you clean. Even make a game out of it. Snow White and the Seven dwarfs knew what they were talking about when the coined the phrase whistle while your work.

Parkour – I don’t care how old you are, there’s no reason you can’t get started with rolling around in your yard and vaulting over picnic tables and bike racks.

Adult gymnastics – In the same vein as Parkour, gymnastics will help you build some of the BEST real world strength you can get with any type of exercise, and it’s all done in a playful way without a single weight being picked up.

Yoga – Build flexibility, strength, and learn to freaking relax.  There are tons of kinds of yoga, so sign up for a few different kinds and see which one lines up the best with what you’re looking for. I know some great Hot Yoga classes at our studios in Burnaby, New West, Port Moody and Coquitlam

Join a Rec league – Want to be active and meet people?  Join a indoor soccer or softball league. Great way to meet new people and you get to exercise!

Bike to work – You get from Point A to Point B, you save money on gas, and you get a workout.

Here’s my advice to you:

  • Say yes before you can say no. Stop saying “I don’t have time” and realize you do.  Stop saying “I can’t afford it” and find a way to make it a priority.  Do all of this before you can talk yourself out of it.
  • Commit in advance – pre-paid for your swimming or tennis lessons. Having already paid for it may help you commit. Plus no one wants to throw their money away!
  • Go with a friend. if you happen to be TOO afraid to attend a class alone get a friend to drag along!
  • Have fun. Remember, the more fun you have exercising the more you will stick with it.