Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Mind & Body by Samantha Nichole

Friday, January 20, 2012

5 Gym-Free Methods I Use to Stay Healthy

Today it is snowing profusely, and I am stuck in my humble apartment, dancing around in circles, cleaning, and thinking about thinking. I don’t want to go to the gym because the roads are pretty dangerous, and I don’t need to leave. The truth is this: I am no Jillian Michaels or Tracy Anderson, but over the years of being a college student and workaholic I have learned a thing or two about staying in shape without hitting the gym (even though I love going to the gym for the social aspect and group classes!) I’m inspired to tell you all how I stay in shape, so here are 5 Gym-Free Methods I Use to Stay Healthy.

1. I was lucky enough to win an XBox 360 in 2009 from the Mountain Dew/Skate2 Sweepstakes, so that has truly been a blessing. Not only can I use it to stream my movies and TV shows, but I can also use it to play music and, most importantly, hook it up to my Kinect. The Kinect has been my best friend since last winter. When I am have time, and I’m looking for something fun to do, I put in one of these games: Dance Central, Dance Central 2, Kinect Adventures, or Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. It’s a fun way to game, and it’s so easy to get off the couch and enjoy yourself—with or without company! There are other fun gaming systems and games out there, so do some research and find what’s best for you.

2. The second way I stay in shape is by dancing around…in my kitchen and living room. I purposely put on workout clothes when doing housework, and I dance around throughout my apartment cleaning or reading books (which I often find isn’t a good idea, especially when I’m grabbing my foot in pain because I stubbed my toe.) You are probably thinking, “How can that do anything?” The truth is that any activity will burn calories, so embrace it.

3. I also take the stairs when I can. When I am working at the college I always take the stairs to get to wherever I need to go. Also, because I also work in downtown, my car is parked in a lot a couple blocks away from work. Even though these Wisconsin winters are brisk and brutal, I bundle up and endure the pain.

4. My college years were the hardest for me to stay in shape. I was stressed out and I had so much classwork to complete! Rather than staying up late and risking not getting enough sleep, I woke up early to complete simple assignments and spent my afternoons between classes working on other things. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain—when you are asleep your body is actually burning calories, so use that resting time to rejuvenate your body.

5. Finally, the 5th method I use to say in shape is by snacking and staying hydrated. Snacking throughout the day is healthier for you; it helps speed up your metabolism, and you won’t gorge yourself during meals (PS- I also eat to the point of being satisfied, but not to the point of being full.) Because I keep snacks with me throughout the day (Note: Healthy snacks such as clementines, bananas, yogurt, trail mix, etc.) I am less likely to stop at a fast food restaurant as well. Every busy person knows what I’m talking about! One should also drink plenty of water because people often confuse hunger with being thirsty. Think about how much less food you would have to consume if you simply stayed hydrated.

I truly hope these 5 methods will help you become healthier! Use every opportunity to get up, walk around, and stretch your legs. Be sure to stay hydrated and snack when needed. Finally, if you have an XBox or other gaming system, use it for exercise as well! There are awesome games out there that will help you stay in shape while having fun.

Stay Fit and Good Luck!
XoXo Samantha Nichole