I’ve been thinking about how back in the day, exercise was incorporated into a day’s work. We now spend far too much time inside, sitting down, thanks to the rise of office based jobs.
The majority of us now exercise in our spare time, outside work which for many people poses a problem, because they may not prioritise exercise in their leisure time.
Looking at the lifestyle of Land Girls and workers during the WW2 period, movement was very much a part of the day’s work. It also meant that folk were more connected with nature and out in the fresh air, exposed to healthy bacteria and feel good factors. Fuel was rationed so people made use of other modes of transport, such as bikes and legs! What was the result? A healthier and I expect happier (war aside) population.
Nowadays 64% of our journeys are made by car, 22% by foot and 2% by bike.
I know from my own experience of working on the land that, tough as it was, I felt incredibly connected, fit and full of vitality. I, like my friends who were in the WLA, look back on those days fondly. It was so wonderful connecting with the seasons and reaping all the benefits that being so close to nature brings.
I’m not suggesting we all go and work on farms (although if we did perhaps our food production would be taken more seriously) what I’m getting at is that if we can use exercise more as a form of transport or an integral part of our day’s work we may just end up healthier and happier, not to mention the benefits to our bank balances and the environment.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Walk or cycle to and from work instead of travelling by bus or car
- Get off the bus a few stops early or park your car further away from work if you live a long way away
- Go for a brisk walk at lunchtime – please don’t stay in a stuffy office all day!
- If you live really close to work why not do what I used to do and create a big circular loop to get there and back
- As soon as you get home after work go for a walk around the block, not only is it good exercise, it will also help you unwind from the day’s events, resulting in more constructive ways of distressing than offloading onto loved ones.
- Get out in the garden whenever you can, this is such a great way of improving muscle mass as well as exercising
- Choose a fun form of movement that doesn’t feel like exercise like dancing (you can combine 2 of the above and dance in muddy fields if you like!)
If we can move more in our daily lives we will have more time freed up for other stuff and I guarantee the other stuff is more likely to get healthier as you do!
Take it from the experts….