I usually take my lunch away from the office. It’s not just to get away from my desk for a little bit, it’s a chance to do some exercise while I’m at work. I used to have a gym membership but it just didn’t work for me. Getting to the gym, needing to change clothes and getting back to work in such a short period of time was stressful! Now, instead of going to the gym I go for a walk at lunch.
When the weather is nice, I walk up to City Hall. On days when it’s cold or rainy I still go for my walk but instead of going out, I walk around the first floor of the hospital. It’s great because no one needs to know I’m exercising and while the pace may be slower, at least I’m still moving and burning calories. A friend gave me a pedometer recently and I’ve been wearing it for a week or two now. Seeing how many steps I take while at work and how many calories I burn in just half a day is amazing. Wearing the pedometer has motivated me to walk even more.
At home, I sometimes go to the park (it’s a great option if you have kids and time to go for a walk after dinner) but more often I spend time gardening. I grow flowers as well as vegetables like green peppers, cucumbers and squash— things that need to be watered every day. Gardening is also very relaxing, and even if you have a small yard or live in an apartment you can still grow some fresh vegetables for yourself.
Here are some other suggestions for getting exercise. If you take the train or a bus to work, get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way. We’re lucky to have a T stop right outside Mass General, but maybe you can try getting off atPark Street. If you’re going shopping, find a parking spot farther away from the store (and wear comfortable shoes, not high heels). Take the stairs if you can. I rarely take the elevator if I’m going down stairs, and make a point of walking up the stairs to my office at least once a day—and my office is on the seventh floor.
The most important thing is exercise can be anywhere. It doesn’t have to be just outside or at the gym.