Do It Naturally: A Return to The Basics Of Movement

by Robyn Webb

 

I’ve always embraced change. Over the years, I’ve changed my exercise routine to include the latest and greatest from Pilates to Barre and I even contemplated taking Cross Fit training. Change is good for both body and mind, but let’s not forget some of the most basic forms of movement give us so many benefits that it’s not always necessary to seek the next best thing.

Let’s return to exercise that’s been around many, many years before studios sprouted up like blades of grass. All of my suggestions can be done with little or no cash investment, require nothing more than comfortable clothes, and most are year-round, weather friendly. Best of all you can progress at the pace you are comfortable with.

 

The Basics

Walking:

I’ll always be grateful to my mother who insisted on nightly after-dinner walks as long as the weather wasn’t severely inclement. Whether it’s for a concentrated set time as a form of exercise or as the automatic choice over driving, you can make it habit of walking whenever possible. There is really no need to choose any other form of cardiovascular pumping if you aren’t keen on other forms of exercise, just vary the intensity and duration often enough to challenge your body.

Cost: Only the cost of a good pair of walking sneakers

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Any where, any time. All you have to do is get up and walk! The reason so many Europeans are fit is because they walk everywhere.

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Biking:

One of the greatest urban projects to hit many of our major cities is the ability to rent a city-owned bicycle for getting around instead of driving. I applaud the smarts of whatever city committee thought this was a good idea. Now there is no excuse to get some exercise by a set of wheels you have to pump yourself. So if you don’t own a bike, this is a way to sweat without needing the cash to purchase one. If you have your own bike, use it more for just than weekend recreation. Consider making it part of your daily life. Ride it to work if possible, use it to run errands and in general, think of your bike as your open air automobile.

Cost: Hourly fee for renting. No need to purchase a fancy bicycle, a simple basic one will do

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Getting together with friends on the week-end for a bike ride is a great way to get outside, socialize and get some good exercise

 

Stair Climbing:

Just recently, a mishap in the elevator of my condominium building forced me to walk the stairs from floor 34 to 49. After completing the last step, I realized I could simply get off at a lower floor and climb the rest of the way home. Not a bad, completely expense-free way to get some heart thumping action. Walk up and down the stairs daily if you live in a building. Choose the stairs at work and you’ll get in shape so fast, you’ll probably begin to beat your co- workers to the lobby who choose to ride the elevator instead. And if nasty weather keeps you inside, use the stairs as an intense exercise session. Run up and down them pumping your arms to support you and you’ll be fit from head to toe.

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Take the stairs in the course of your day. Not the escalator or elevator – the stairs.

 

Dancing:

Okay, now we are talking. I’m not suggesting joining a class where you need to memorize complex choreography, no this is all about free-forming it. Dance anywhere; at home, at a club, just shake it. Think you are good enough for a contest? Well that would take lots of practice, wouldn’t it? Now that’s what I call fun “forced” exercise!

Cost: Nothing, except for maybe an entrance fee to a club.

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If you hear the beat, break out and dance. You just move. For more organized dancing, go to a nightclub, join a Zumba class or take dance lessons!

 

Volunteer Work:

Not behind a desk, but of the vigorous variety. Sign up to rake leaves, mow the lawn(manually) or shovel snow for those who can’t. Get real ambitious and work on building a house. You’ll do someone good while you do your body good too.

Cost: Being your brothers keeper-priceless!

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Volunteer work or otherwise known as manual labor. Get out an help your community like these folks who are replanting a flooded marsh area

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