in depth


Invigorate Your Routine

Chores for Vitality

Our lives lend us to exercise. There are plenty of physical activities that call out to us every day, but we often find loopholes to avoid them, seeing them as weighty obligations,  though they only require a little exerted energy. But as exercise guru Joel Harper says, it's better to get small amounts of exercise throughout the day rather than to wait and work out for two hours on Saturday. Here are a handful of tips on how to infuse health into your everyday routine:

1. Take the Trash Out. Whether you live in an apartment building or a house, don't set the trash at the door, just waiting until the next time you go outside. Take the extra 4 minutes to walk down the stairs or to the garage. Your house will smell better and you’re already down 4 minutes of exercise for the day!

2. Sit Up. We sit for hours and hours on end each day, typing our lives away. Most of the time, we’re slumping over our keyboard. Instead, sit up in your chair and activate your stomach muscles to keep your spine straight. This is great for the health of the spine and also strengthens your abdominal muscles through isometrics. Now, instead of just typing, you’re toning as well.

3. Park at the End of the Lot. Don't spend 10 minutes in your car searching for a spot near the door. Park and walk from the end of the lot instead. You’ll also be reducing the probability of getting a ding.

4. Check the Mail. This is the same theory as taking the trash out. Don't wait until it is convenient to check the mail, i.e. when you are already outside and the mailbox is on your way. Make a special trip and you’ll feel special.

5. Highs and Lows. Organize your house so that you naturally have to reach high and bend low to get what you need. Forward folds and stretching the arms over the head are two of the most common actions a person will do in yoga class, so why not do it in your home as well?

These all sound very simple, but we find ourselves skipping out on them, usually because we want to relax. But taking care of these tasks will both energize and help you relax at the end of the day. Just ask yourself, "Is this the easy way out?" If it is, see how simple and rewarding the hard way can actually be.

Skylor Powell
Holistic Health Counselor & Yoga Instructor
My Yoga Nutrition
For more on everyday exercise: Joel Harper's Fit Pack - Nine Short Workouts


Ben Samples commented on 16-Nov-2009 09:13 PM5 out of 5 stars

Great tips, Skylor! People sometimes take the small things for granted, but this is a great list of things that can add up to make a positive difference.

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