Incorporate movement into your daily life
Commuting by bike is a great way to go more sustainable and fit instead of driving a car or public transport to work. I bike to University in the warmer part of the year. It’s almost an hour one way, but I love it. My tips for commuting by bike:
- Choose a scenic route instead of the shortest one. On my way to University, I follow a hidden lovely street rather than one that is busy with traffic and plainly dangerous (I am looking at you, Sonnenalle!). The other half of the route crosses Tiergarten, the inner-city’s forest.
- Get a bike basket. I always put my bag in a basket to avoid the extra weight on my back and, well, sweating.
- Have a refreshment kit. I always bring an extra shirt, my deodorant, a bottle of water and sometimes makeup. I change my shirt and wash my face at the University toilet and give myself 5 min to breathe.
If I don’t bike, I try to walk as much as possible, like to buy groceries. When I am riding the train, I try to always take the stairs instead of an escalator and sometimes go off two stations early to walk home if I feel like it. I’d love to work somewhere I could commute by foot (Litterless wrote about her walk commute here).
Do it at home
For years, I was taking yoga, pilates, and other similar classes but they quickly turned into just one more obligation. Even though I like the activity, I hated going somewhere on a particular day, at a particular time, changing my clothes at the wardrobe and always waiting for someone else’s instructions. So I started doing a combination of yoga, stretching, and workout in the comfort of my own home. My tips for starting a home workout:
- Do it daily and at the same time. It would never turn into a habit if I would not do it absolutely every day. I like to do it in the morning because it wakes me up and makes me feel great.
- Keep it short and simple. I searched the web for some basic yoga poses and started there. My workout lasts only 10 min, but since I do it every day it definitely leaves results.
- Make it easy to start. I keep my yoga mat on the floor of the living room, like a rug. Mat is so comfortable, guests sometimes sleep on it, so double use!
Do it outside
Just being surrounded by nature is already relaxing and healthy. I don’t get why you’d go to spin class to pretend to be on a bike or run down the treadmill if you can do it outside. In the warmer part of the year, I will go jogging in my favourite parks. I tend not to jog in the winter as the cold air gives me a cough fast. Instead, I will go for long faster walks around lakes in the forest. My tips for a jogging routine:
- Find a nice place. Go somewhere, where it is actually green, quiet, scenic, or my favourite – surrounded by water.
- Find the best time. Afternoons are my favourite time when the sun is going down.
- Think of music. I actually don’t listen to anything because it distracts me too much and I cannot run.
- Don’t track yourself. My only goal is to break a sweat and enjoy being outside.
In one of my favourite books, Play: How it shapes the brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, I read: “lack of play should be treated as a malnutrition – it’s a health risk for body and mind”. My tips for more play:
- Find active hobbies. Good idea is to start thinking about the games you liked as a kid. I am up for badminton and basketball if the occasion arises. I play ping pong with my boyfriend around my neighbourhood and we have tournaments lasting all summer.
- Socialise with sports. Meet new people by joining new activities or find active hobbies to do with friends. I participate in the local urban gardening project, mostly just to hang out with the people.
- Find cheap second-hand equipment online. Or search your parents’ basement.
So what about you: Anyone else practising a minimal workout routine? Commuting by bike? Hating work out? Going to the gym and loving it? Let me know 🙂