When Formal Exercise Is Just Not Your Thang

Not into planned sweat? Only read this far to humor yourself? Well you're not hopeless yet; you can still cash in on some of the benefits. In fact, everyday activities can also substantially benefit your health, even if they are done intermittently throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator (you live on the twenty-fifth floor—great!), walk short distances instead of driving the car, join your kids in a game of tag, do some gardening, rake the leaves, shovel the snow, and let's not forget how physical housecleaning can be. Whatever your style, formal exercise or increasing plain old daily activity, make your only life a healthy and active one.

Whether you are 18, 50, or 70 years old, invest the time to becoming more physically active. Regular exercise will help you to feel your best and keep you fit—while increasing bone strength, reducing your risk of disease, and helping to maintain an ideal body weight. Keep in mind, that the perfect compliment to properly fueling your body is moving your body.

Take a look at the amount of calories you can burn doing everyday chores:


130-Pound Person

183-Pound Person

Car washing






Raking leaves



Shoveling snow









Window cleaning




Pushing your body more often than the experts recommend (unless you are in an athletic training program) can and usually does lead to injuries from over-used muscles, tendons, and joints. What's more, varying your exercise intensity and duration is also important to prevent overtraining. For example, some days, you should work hard and long, but on other days, make it short and sweet. Pay attention to your body's cues and make exercise an enjoyable part of your life.

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