You may be approaching the exercise component of Paleo living with the same trepidation I did. I was never an exercise kind of guy. I found it hard to work the demands of a traditional exercise routine into my daily life. Of course, some of that was my unwillingness to change but it was also the somewhat unrealistic demands of the exercise regime. The good news is that living a Paleo life doesn’t mean you have to be tied to a stationary bike or treadmill for the rest of your life. Just like living Paleo emphasizes a diet of whole food prepared by hand, it emphasizes a more natural approach to getting the exercise your body needs as well. Here are five things you can do to exercise that won’t seem like your exercising:
- Play with your kids – Take your kids outside and do something. Run around the yard, pretend you’re hunting pirates, go play on the swing. Not only will you be exercising, you’ll be enjoying time together as a family instead of vegging in front of the TV, computer, or Wii.
- Join a sports team – May be you played baseball as a kid and abandoned the sport as an adult. May be you’ve always wanted to play hockey but never did. Seize the opportunity by finding a recreational sports team in your area and joining. Don’t fear the shame of perhaps not being the best player on the team, everyone has to start somewhere. If you could see me trying to keep up with the other guys I play hockey with you’d instantly feel better.
- Do something outside you enjoy – It might be the solitude of a stroll in the woods or the sheer joy of cutting down trees. Find an outdoor activity you enjoy and do it. As long as you find it fun and enjoyable, you won’t feel like you’re sticking to some routine that’s been imposed on you.
- Housework – But Erin, you might say, I have 6 baskets of dirty laundry to wash before I do anything! Great! Go do them! All of the moving, lifting, and stretching you do over the course of your household chores is great exercise. You have to keep your house clean and tidy, you might as well remember how good of a workout it really is.
- Yardwork – So may be housework isn’t your thing or it isn’t the side of the division of labour in your house you fall on. Go outside and do the yardwork instead. Resist the urge to pull out the ride-on lawnmower and use the push (no self-propelled!) instead. There is so much lifting, tugging, and moving activities to be done while you work your way through the to-do list that it’s nothing but exercise.
If the thought of exercise doesn’t thrill you or you don’t think you can keep up a daily exercise regime, just remember that staying active is often enough. Whether it’s cleaning up the dirty laundry or playing hide and seek with the kids, staying active doesn’t mean a daily date with a torturous exercise machine. It can be fun, exciting, and yes, even fulfilling.
But this is by no means an exhaustive list. Have any ideas or tips to share? We’d all love to hear them. Leave us a comment and tell us how you like to make exercise fun and effortless.