By living a Paleo lifestyle, you have taken control of your mind, your body, and your health. The next component of a healthy lifestyle, and one that goes hand-in-hand with The Paleo Diet©, is physical activity. And while many of us have concrete exercise regimens that we adhere to religiously, there are scores of people who, at this point in their lives, don’t have the time to spare.
And that’s okay!
On The Paleo Diet, there are plenty of ways to incorporate activity into your day. While hitting the gym or the studio is a wonderfully effective form of exercise, there are other methods to move your body that will be just as effective, but more convenient for those of us who are crunched for time. What’s more is that even if you are a regular fitness buff, these practices can be worked into your daily routine to ramp up your activity levels even outside of the gym. Here are three easy ways to stay fit while maintaining your Paleo lifestyle that don’t involve hitting up the gym.
Just Walk It.
We’ve all heard this tip before, but it bears repeating. Park a little further away and walk to your destination. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Any chance you get to take a few steps in your day is going to help boost your fitness levels. For those who don’t have the time for daily runs or cardio machines, pedometers are an excellent way to log mileage without devoting a specific block of time to exercise. While it’s recommended that you aim to get about 10,000 steps in each day, this figure is mostly presented to introduce a challenge, as there is currently no scientific evidence to support this magic number’s efficacy. It’s just a good challenging goal for most of us. And once you’ve met this challenge, try to top it! How many steps can you take in a day? In a week? In a month? How many miles can you walk this year?
Just Carry It.
That’s right. Carry it. Your toddler, the watermelon at the farmer’s market, the latest shipment from your favorite online store… if it’s safe for you to lift, pick it up properly and carry it for awhile. While, as a busy parent, you may not have time to lift weights, you certainly have time to pick up your young children while walking from your car to the grocery store entrance. New mom? Into attachment parenting? Even better! Who needs the gym…you’re basically lifting all day long! Did someone at work forget to refill the copy machine again? Volunteer to get a box of printer paper and carry it to the copier. Maybe add a few squats for good measure. You’ll work your body and get points with the boss. Is your buddy moving this weekend? Help him out! (Just insist he skips the beer and pizza and takes you for a Paleo-friendly dinner in return!) The idea is to look for opportunities to lift things in your everyday life. While lifting weights is great, you may not have the time to spare. By looking for opportunities to lift things in your day-to-day existence, you are effortlessly adding activity to your Paleo lifestyle.
Just Move It.
Salsa dancing lessons on Monday with your partner? A Tuesday night concert with friends? An impromptu living room dance party with your kids on a Wednesday morning? It doesn’t matter how you move, just move it! There are plenty of active things you can do each day that are not your garden-variety forms of exercise. As long as you’re working up a light sweat, you’re incorporating meaningful activity into your day and you can feel good about it. So get your heart rate up, have fun and find enjoyable ways to move that fit within your daily lifestyle. (And, since you’re already on the boss’ good side for refilling the copy machine, why not join the workplace softball team and get even more bonus points and bonus exercise?)
When you’re living a Paleo lifestyle, you’ve already made a huge commitment to your health and well-being. Try taking it to the next level by incorporating some activity into your day. You don’t have to join a gym. You don’t have to wake up daily at 5 am to stream a fitness class. You don’t even have to carve out time exclusively devoted to fitness. Our paleolithic ancestors never joined the gym or followed dedicated workout regimens; the physical activity occurring in their everyday lives was enough to keep them fit. So, like they did, shun some modern conveniences and get active naturally. Just carry it, walk it and move it and marvel as the results accumulate.