If watching an entire Netflix series from start to finish is no big deal, fitting a couple hours of easy to moderate exercise into your week should be a snap, right?
Not so fast! Many guys like you are already pressed for time before a new season starts streaming. Working hard, running errands, doing chores, minding kids, keeping the home fires burning, getting enough sleep — it all adds up, and when you throw in a few hours of TV time, there can be little time left for anything else, exercise included.
But here’s a sweet little secret: You can get everything done, watch your favourite show, and STILL work in the exercise needed to stay fit and healthy. Does this involve cloning yourself? It sure doesn’t!
5 easy ways to exercise daily
Time needed: 10 minutes.
No kidding! All you have to do is slide a few minutes of easy exercise into the things you already do each day.
- Get walking.
Walking briskly for 15 minutes burns around 125 calories. Men who walk five city blocks a day lower their risk of heart attack by 25 percent. Walk to the supermarket instead of driving, or walk there from a more distant parking lot than the one you usually use. If you happen to hit a staircase along the way, all the better! Climbing stairs is a simple way to get more exercise at work and strengthen your legs’ biggest muscles. All the time you spend hoofing it goes towards the 150-minute recommended total. Plus, you can save a few bucks on gas and parking when you don’t have to drive your car!
- Get active with your kids.
From pond hockey and tobogganing to hikes and games of tag, there are plenty of free, fun ways to get active with the brood. Having a good time while exercising is a great way to motivate yourself, and it does your family some good, too. Active playtime is vitally important to the health and wellbeing of children, with the United Nations pointing out that it is “essential to the psychological, cognitive and physical development of young people.”
- Amp up your chores.
There can be more to household chores than simply getting them out of the way. Doing them more quickly, and adding extra moves, can turn them into legit workouts. For instance:
Shovelling: Clearing snow or moving soil burns more than 400 calories an hour, and if you lift the snowy load to chest height and hold it for 10 seconds it works all your major muscle groups: legs, core, back, shoulders and arms.
Cleaning the eavestroughs: Climbing ladders, scooping out leaf goo and raking it up burns around 320 calories an hour. Moving the ladder more frequently than usual and climbing it more often will boost that number significantly.
Mowing the lawn: Pushing a gas-powered mower burns 300-plus calories every hour, with a manual mower adding nearly 200 calories to that figure.
- Workout WHILE watching TV.
Now, THIS is a win-win! By working some easy fitness moves into your entertainment routine, your whole family can benefit. Every time a character on your show of choice asks a question, for instance, run on the spot as fast as you can for 30 seconds. When anyone gets into or out of a car, break off 10 burpees. When characters kiss, hug or shake hands, break off 15 bicycle crunches. You pick the show, make the rules, and have a blast!
- Join the 10 Minute Men workout challenge.
10 minutes a day of exercise can make a difference. Your mind and body won’t change overnight, but when you choose to rejoice in small successes you set yourself up to do more good the next day. That’s why we’ve created The 10 Minute Men group on Facebook where you’ll be in the company of other guys like you across Canada. Join in on the fun, 10 minutes at a time!
Have you found other easy ways to get exercise? Feel free to share them with other guys in the comments below.
This article is made possible by the support of generous sponsors.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.