After years of gym membership, this summer I decided to cancel my membership in order to achieve better work-life balance. I know, I know, physical health and fitness is important. I agree. But I’m learning there is a way to stay active and include my work and family as well. Instead of compartmentalizing my fitness into its own category, I am integrating it into every aspect of my life.
First, I am including my family. When I headed to the gym, my kids had to go to the kid care area while I went to an exercise class or equipment zone. This divided the family, giving us more time apart instead of together. Now I am looking for activities that will keep me physically active and connected to my family at the same time. There are many great outings to accomplish this. Here are my top five:
- Go for a hike: We like to frequent the wonderful natural resources near us by heading to our favorite trails for an outdoor adventure.
- Go for a swim: The local community pool is a low-cost way to take everyone for a swim. We soak up some sunshine and burn calories in the water.
- Go for a walk: Taking an evening walk through the neighborhood with my hubby is a great way to unwind from the day and reconnect while getting moving too.
- Go for a bike ride: My kids love taking a bike ride so all I have to do is join them for some fun exercise. A trip to the nearby park is a ride we all enjoy.
- Go play Just Dance: Rain or shine, my kids are always up for a dance off. It doesn’t take long to get my heart pumping with the moves and music.
These are my five favorite ways to stay fit while spending time with my kids. Of course, there are many other options to choose from, you just have to be creative and choose the activities that work best for you, your family, and your interests. Staying active with my family gives us more quality time together and models a healthy lifestyle for my kids. But my focus on physical fitness can be incorporated at work too.
I am learning to engage more than my mind with my desk job. My job is mainly on the computer, which doesn’t lend itself to physical activity. Still, I have discovered two ways to improve my muscle tone at my desk.
- Sit on an exercise ball: I spend part of the time sitting on an exercise ball – one of those giant inflatable balls. Sitting on an exercise ball is good for pelvic alignment and engages the core muscles to maintain balance.
- Stand at a raised work space: For part of the time, I also stand instead of sitting by raising my computer to standing height. There is growing interest in the benefits of using a standing desk.
These two changes do not require me to take additional breaks from working. Instead, they modify the way I do my work to improve my physical health at the same time.
By integrating physical activity into my everyday life and work, I am able to take a more holistic approach to fitness and incorporate quality family time too. My physical health is no longer another box to check or appointment to make, it is a regular part of going through my day.
What do you think? Please share your comments below. What do you do to stay physically active?