“The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise.”
LISTEN TO THE LIFEHACKRDIET PODCAST
Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.
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I am a work-from-home Dad with three teenage kids and I never seem able to follow through on my goals of working out. So I quit the gym and in the past year I’ve lost 30lbs and walked 2,117 miles. How did I do it?
The Secrets of Eating to Lose Weight blog post outlines how you can hack your food. This blog post touches on how you can quit the gym and be healthier for it.
Why I Quit the Gym!
When I went to the gym, I enjoyed myself, no problem. But what I found was between my work and home duties, the scheduled 90 minutes/three times a week would often and in fact, almost always get bumped off my schedule. I would say, “Ah, I don’t have time to do it today, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And then, tomorrow would come, another fire would need to be put out – you know the score. The result was my health kept taking a backseat to my other priorities.
The problem was that I didn’t have a plan B – I either made it to the gym or I didn’t. I had no other mechanism for getting exercise. I just felt awful, I was gaining weight, I was always uncomfortable and I had back issues. I needed to figure out something that worked for me and my lifestyle. That was the spark that lead to the LifehackrDiet origin story.
The LifehackrDiet (LHD) is a series principles and techniques (utilizing common consumer technology) that you can customize for your unique lifestyle.
LHD Principle One – Syncronicity
No, it’s not based on the 1983 Police song of the same name, but you can add that song to your playlist! It’s looking at life and your daily activities synchronously. So instead of grocery shopping or exercise you have to think of it as grocery shopping AND exercise. Commuting or exercise becomes commuting AND exercise and work or exercise transforms into work AND exercise. You just have to shift your thinking and look at everything that presents itself in your day as an opportunity to burn some calories, build some muscle and get closer to your goals.
What works for me
Here are some concrete examples of what has worked for me and might work for you. Adapt these tips for making changes to transform your life.
Grocery shopping AND exercise.
This is a screen shot of the Fitbit Dashboard captured from my account. The Fitbit One is a digital pedometer that records my steps throughout the day. It syncs wirelessly over bluetooth to my iPhone and updates my progress on the Fitbit iOS app and on the website. I love this system because it simply captures my every step and gives me credit towards my daily calorie burn. A blog posting about bluetooth digital pedometers and how to use them, is coming to this blog soon.
Instead of looking at grocery shopping as a chore, look at as an opportunity to triple multi-task; shop, walk/lift and listen to music/radio/audio books or the LHD Podcast. You need one extra ingredient which is good for you and the environment; a team of strong reusable bags that will be your weights for this LifehackrDiet tip. When you go to the grocery store, instead of wasting time looking for the closest parking spot, quickly park at the furthest spot from the store entrance, I guarantee it’s available. You are welcome to be organized with a shopping list but don’t fret about forgetting something and having to walk across the store to retrieve it – it’s good for you! When you have the reusable bags packed, make them heavy so that you are getting a workout loading and unloading them. Make extra trips from your mode of transportation to your residence, lift the bags up and down as you go, bend up and down or do squats as you lift and unpack. Make the once wasted chore into a weekly workout. You will probably burn anywhere from 200-500Cal depending on your circumstances.
Commuting AND exercising.
Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,264 or 8.83 miles or 2,969Cal.
We all have our unique commutes to work so there is no boiler plate plan for getting the most out of it. Commuting usually involves some walking and lots of sitting or standing in a moving tin can. If you look closely enough you will find lots to hack. If you take the subway or a bus to work, consider walking a stop (or a few) on either end of your route.
If you drive or car-pool get out or park somewhere further away from your final destination, walk the difference. Hack parking by driving to the top floor of the parking lot (regardless of whether or not there are free spots along the way) and either take the stairs or (with caution) walk down/up the actual parking level ramps from and to your vehicle. Clearly riding a bike is an obvious way of burning calories while commuting but cycling the whole way to work/home might not be practical for everyone. If that is the case is there a compromise where you can cycle part of the way and then take public transportation to finish the commute? Think creatively about your daily journey and find ways in which you can hack it so that you are healthier beacuse of it. Taking even the simplest of these suggestions could add a 1,700Cal burn to your workweek which will make a huge dent in your weight loss.
Working (at a computer) AND exercising.
Fitbit Dashboard. Total for day; 19,728 steps or 9.05 miles or 2,828 Kcal.
Now Do You Believe Me?
When I say “Quit the Gym and Be Healthier” you can now see why. Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.
Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.
Thanks for Reading!
The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise.
Does your gym workout consistently get cut from your schedule? Paul Michaels your host is a 50-year-old work-from-home-father of three teenagers, who finally gave up on the idea of going to the gym and in its place figured out how to live synchronously…
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
- How your host, Paul Michaels lost 30lbs and walked 1000 miles in 6 months.
- What doesn’t work, not having a plan “B”
- LifehackrDiet Principle One; Syncronicity.
- How to transform grocery shopping into a workout.
- We all have commutes to work, here’s how you hack it.
- Working at your computer can be a workout too!
- Utilizing every waking moment for exercise…
PLUS MORE on how you can make small meaningful changes to your activities….
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- LifehackrDiet Origin Story.
- 1983 Police Album, Syncronicity.
- Amazing Reusable Ikea Shopping bags.
- Fitbit One Digital Pedometer.
- I purchased a very simple walking treadmill.
- Ikea Fredrik Standing Desk. Check your local Craigslist listings.
Although I would love to go to the gym and when I can, I do. The way to make a real difference for your health is by utilizing every waking minute as an opportunity for exercise. Everyone can do this. Be imaginative and come up with ways to make everyday chores an opportunity for improving your health.
Thanks for LISTENING!
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Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
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