As you probably know, exercising in some way, every day, is crucially important.
What you might not know is that there’s a really easy way you can integrate it into your life.
How? Read this archived email exchange I had with an previous client of mine, and think about how you can apply these ideas to your day-to-day life.
Old e-mail from client:
Subject: Cancelling but not all is lost…
I am feeling so wiped today. I slept about 10 hours but still feel like I could sleep the whole day, which the rational side of my brain says I should not do because otherwise I will not be able to sleep this evening. So I am up.
I don’t think I will be able to bring myself to face the gym today but I have planned to walk and run some errands – groceries and shopping. (I’ll likely have a heavy load on the way home so that will also be good from a weight perspective.) If I am feeling up to it, I might walk my bike up to the street to leave it at the shop for a tune up, but that might be overly ambitious given the current state of my thigh muscles, so I’ll play that by ‘ear.
And I will roll out the yoga mat I have at home and do some stretching poses (I’ll pull out some old issues of WH to help remind me of some of the moves). But I think that’s about all I can see myself doing today – building in some active-ness into the day, but nothing too strenuous.
I promise I will get to the gym tomorrow after work. I was thinking about 20-30 mins of cardio and then some weights. Is that in line with what I should be doing?
Subject: Understood, you can get your NEAT on!
There will be days where you’re going to feel like this and that’s OK – but hopefully not too many of course. The goal is to minimize those days from even happening in the first place. Through your new exercise routine and new diet I think you’ll wake up feeling fresher most days for the foreseeable future.
The kind of movement you’re getting in today by running your errands, is actually quite valuable and it’s what’s called NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis. According to Dr. James A. Levy, the author of Move a Little Loose a Lot, NEAT is extremely valuable and something that you should bring to your consciousness.
By doing things like:
- parking your car far away from your office for a few extra steps,
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
- getting a timer to remind you to get up from your desk every 20 minutes to stretch out and walk around,
- gardening once you get home from work and
- washing a few dishes instead of putting them all in the dishwasher
..are super valuable and can really help add to your energy output and exercise regimen.
Although getting a more vigorous session of exercise on top of all this NEAT is the equation for success, getting your NEAT on is still a good thing.
Regarding your cardio session tomorrow you’ll notice on the program I sent you that you should probably aim for 30 minutes minimum and ideally (and for better results) push yourself to 45. At this stage, you can handle it.
Feel a lot better, rock it tomorrow on cardio and see you next week.