Better Off Well


12 Easy Ways To Stay in Shape

Very few people love the sound of the word exercise. It conjures images of sweat and sour faces. It often means pain and discomfort and near suffocation as we struggle for breath. It's the reason why so many of those who sign up for gym memberships with the best of intentions never stay committed.

tracy hula

The problem is we think of being active as "exercise". If we started to think of it more as "play", we'd have an easier time making it part of our routine. And if we made it part of our routine, it would simply become a way of living.

One mom has found a way to do that. While 4th-grade teacher Tracy Dorcil and her husband, Jean, regularly make time to sweat together to high-intensity workout videos, she's also made being active a part of every day, just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did...only she's not out hunting and the gathering she does is usually at Target.

tracy step up

"I definitely have more energy now!" says Tracy. Here's what she's been doing...

1. Stepping while I fill up glasses of water at the fridge.

2. Running in place while waiting at the copier.

3. Hula hooping every time the commercials come on TV. Or sometimes I plank or do push-ups.

tracy dance

4. Dance parties with my daughters! They love it.

5. Walking laps around the house while on the phone.

6. Playing with my kids outside. (I used to check my mail at that time.)

7. Walking laps during recess duty. Walking meetings work, too.

8. Brain breaks in the classroom. We stretch, high-step, do jumping jacks. I try to take brain breaks at home, too.

9. Taking the long way and always the stairs. I make multiple trips, on purpose.

10. Parking far away from the entrance to stores.

11. Walking while I wait for the school bus.

12. Staying motivated by tracking my progress on Fitbit. I strive for those 10,000 steps every day!