In the Wellness Journal section of afro.girl.lovely, I will be discussing things centered around the health and wellness of mind, body, and spirit. I believe that wellness is when those three things are working in sync with one other and contributing to each others’ stability. You can have a physically tuned body that is fit, active, attractive, and ready to take on the world…but if it your mindset and your consciousness is broken, repressed, and defeated, it’s like a buying an Audi and not knowing how to drive it. There’s nothing wrong with looking good as possible on the surface…but for many it’s a façade that often shields the emptiness they feel inside. I also believe the reverse is true: if you have a brilliant mindset with a balanced spirit that has so much to offer but you don’t have the physical energy or fitness to make your ideas and dreams come to fruition, it’s like knowing how to drive but you have a car that’s always broken down on the side of the road. It’s not going anywhere despite your abilities. This is why it’s so important to view health as holistic and emphasize that it includes every aspect of self.
For me, being physically active is not about the goal of being skinny. It’s about being active, which means being able to get things done without being winded. It’s about making sure our muscles, bones, brains, digestive systems, immune systems, and hormones are not only being nourished, but strengthened. When your body is functioning strongly and with endurance, you feel the energy. You feel the ability to take on tasks and get through your day. You feel like you can take on new challenges. But it takes work to be physically active…and it goes back to your mind and spirit being in tune as well in terms of wanting that for yourself. And the biggest problem I find with trying to be physically active is dedicating time to it. But remember, we don’t have to go to the gym or have workout equipment to exercise. There’s a lot we can do to get some physical activity in our day just doing our regular routines. So here’s 5 Tips To Include Casual Exercise In Your Day:
1. The Walk-to-Workmill
During college, one of the main ways I avoided the freshman 15 or any real weight gain was the amount of walking I did to class and other places. Now, walking 10 minutes to the bus stop from where I work and then having to walk 10-15 minutes from a bus stop to my house is beneficial for me. Brisk walking is considered moderate aerobic activity, and according to mayoclinic.org you need at least 150 minutes (30 minutes for 5 days a week) of moderate physical activity.
2. Become The Stairmaster
Instead of taking the elevator at work or, if you live in one, your apartment building – take the stairs. An article by the Health Sciences Center at the University of New Mexico reports that stair climbing can burn 15 calories per flight of stairs, which is about 12 stairs. So say if you work or live on the 4th floor, that’s 3 flights of stairs. On the trip up, that 45 calories burned and then on the way down, that’s 45 more. So you can burn almost 100 calories just doing that. And little stuff like that adds up.
3. Drop and Give Me 30 Tub Scrubs
Ever realize how much stretching, pulling, and lifting you do while cleaning? Shape.com advises that 30 minutes of vacuuming burns 119 calories, 15 minutes of bathtub scrubbing burns more than 90 calories, and 30 minutes of sweeping burns 136 calories.
4. Dance Class of One
Dancing is of best ways to keep active there is, but instead of going to Zumba, you can work off the calories by just jammin’ to your own music at home. Dancing to uptempo music, according to Harvard Health Publications, can burn 180-223 calories in 30 minutes depending on your weight.
5. Suck it Up
Sucking in your stomach and releasing repeatedly is a very simple way to get ab exercises in daily. A trainer on shape.com tells their clients to suck in their stomach for 3 counts, then release for 3 counts within the space of a minute. This can help tighten up your abs if leg lifts or crunches aren’t your thing.