OK, I might be telling a little fib…
It’s all a matter of perspective.
A day consists of 24 hours, a week of 168. Let’s say you go to the gym/ exercise 5 times a week, each time for about 75 minutes. Now you do the maths. This equals 375 minutes or 6 hours 15 minutes. 6 hours 15 minutes out of a possible 168 hours in the week seems like nothing, doesn’t it?
I’m not saying you should stop going to the gym. All I’m saying is that fitness doesn’t start and end in the gym. You aren’t there for 161 hours 45 minutes of your week. Use this time wisely and I guarantee that you will see the results very soon.
People think that going to the gym or starting some form of exercise will make them healthier and fitter. Don’t get me wrong, the gym plays a big role in improving your fitness, but you have to look elsewhere to maximise your potential.
In order to improve your health and fitness, you must not only change your exercise routine, but see everyday tasks as a chance to enhance both. In short, LIFE IS A GYM!
Here is where the idea of ‘Activities of Daily Living’ may be relevant. ADLs is a concept that was originally introduced in the 1950s by Sidney Katz. It is a term used in healthcare to refer to people’s self care activities. They are often defined as “the things we normally do (…) such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking and leisure.” A person’s ability or inability to perform ADLs is often used as a measurement of their functional status, especially with regard to people post injury, the disabled and the elderly. However this concept can also be used to refer to healthy and young people.
Many of us want to change our appearance, get healthier, feel fitter, run faster for longer. For the majority of us better fitness doesn’t mean having sixpack abs, it means being able to run to catch a bus, walking up stairs without getting out of breath, lifting a heavy bag without straining and all the other little things that become harder when we loose our fitness.
Depending on your goals and current condition, you will need to make small changes step by step in order to progress. A more holistic approach to health & fitness is in my opinion what needs to be understood better, so that people don’t struggle as much in reaching their goals.
ADLs in this context can be defined simply as everyday activities which have the potential to make an individual more active on a daily basis.
Do you take a bus to the next tube station? Why not walk. Do you sit in the evening in front of the TV? Stretch while doing it. Do you like reading books at home? Get an audiobook and go for a walk in a park. You get the picture.
Performing Everyday Activities can be a good way to keep you physically fit or at least to give you a good foundation for your fitness. Housekeeping, shopping, chasing after your kids, walking stairs instead of standing on escalators. All these little things add up and can lead to some incredible results when it comes to burning extra calories, increasing fitness levels and giving your health an extra boost.
As I mentioned earlier, a person’s ability or inability to perform ADLs is often used as a measurement of their functional status, especially with regards to people post injury, with disabilities and the elderly.
Everyday Activities could be used as our own measurement of our fitness.
Are you breathless after walking up the stairs? Do you find yourself sitting most of the day? Do you have trouble lifting heavy bags? Do you ever walk or do you mostly use public transport/ a car? Do you indulge regularly? Do you eat healthily?
Asking yourself these questions might give you a general idea about the state of your fitness and health.
Everyday Activities and the choices you make have more impact on your health & fitness than you can possibly imagine.
What should you do?
It’s not about drastic change. Just try and do one step at a time. Stand up every time you pick up a phone call when you’re in your office. Have a side of salad instead of side of fries. Walk the stairs instead of standing on the escalator. Walk or cycle instead of driving. And so forth and so on.
Don’t try to change everything at the same time. Learn how to be consistent with just one thing and add another once you feel like you’ve got the hang of the first one.
Remember, LITTLE CHOICES ADD UP TO BIG CHANGES!
Enjoy the journey and let me know how you’re getting on!