One thing that changes when you move from NY to CA is that you drive, like everywhere. I knew I’d miss the effortlessly active lifestyle we left in New York. We didn’t have a car, we didn’t need a car – I could cover 5 to 10 miles in a day just with my work commute and errands without even feeling like I had “exercised.”
Since most of my work is now done from home, I know that if I don’t make a conscious effort to move my body on a daily basis, the pounds will creep up. So, I’ve gotten a little crafty.
Here are some things I do:
- YouTube Yoga. While the kids are napping, I’ve been exploring the plethora of free yoga videos on the internet. This is a totally self-indulgent part of my day, because I get stress release as I exercise, and it helps me strengthen and stretch my finicky back. I’m really liking the videos from Yoga With Adriene. She’s got a refreshing, nonchalant style.
- Impromptu walks. I’ve learned that walking is a vital part of my life – it helps me to clear my head, to more intimately know my surroundings, and it prevent my joints and muscles from locking up. And there’s no doubt it releases endorphins that just make me feel good. Sometimes I’ll pack the boys into the car, pick Javi up from the BART, and take the opportunity to walk back home from there. Sure, I could be home in 7 minutes if I stuck along for the car ride, but the benefits of choosing the long way home are invaluable.
- Post-dinner strolls. If all else fails in the day and I can’t get any sort of intentional movement, I’ll skip out after dinner as Javi bathes the boys. Even 20 minutes is enough to make a difference.
- Random acts of exercise. I’m not above hanging from the monkey bars on the toddler playground to get a great shoulder stretch, flying my kids into a superman hold to selfishly work on my abs, running and bouncing in the pool while holding 1-2 toddlers (talk about a workout!), or doing walking squats around the backyard as they dig in the dirt.
It’s so easy to be lazy. But it feels so much better to be strong and lean. For those of you also suffering from a sedentary lifestyle, I’m open to your suggestions!