Getting Active and Moving More

I recently wrote an article in the CANDo Life Skills for Children section about how modern society’s increasingly sedentary life style is affecting our children. In reality, we have to face the fact that it’s not just the children. Adults too are suffering from obesity and health problems as a result of inactivity.

Men’s jobs aren’t as physically active and the housework takes far less energy than it used to. In fact, there was a very interesting article about household chores I read not long ago that suggested the vigorous and very physical cleaning our grandmothers were up to in the 1950s offered a far better work out than pounding away at a modern day gym.

The life skills involved in keeping our bodies fit in the modern world involve us having to assess options and make the right choices to achieve a balanced life. Sure we gain from the many time saving gadgets et al available to us but we don’t appear to be then making the right choices about how to use that extra leisure time? Are we creating a more balanced life? The answer, sadly, is no.

No doubt many readers of this article have already switched off with an “I don’t have time to exercise”. Before you’re tempted to do this same, would it surprise you to know that research suggest that, in Britain and America alone, we watch an average of 28 hours television a week. That equates to an astonishing two months of the entire year sat in front of the telly.

Even when not watching the television, many of our adult hobbies have become less physical and, we’ve streamlined our everyday life activities so that they use the least amount of energy possible.

In the article for children, I asked readers to take a look at the physical activity their children got up to daily, now I’m asking that we do the same for ourselves. It’s not just about sport, it’s about exercise on the go and how to get more exercise – whether you drive or walk, take the stairs or the elevator.

My hubby and I did this and this is what we came up with.

Old Daily Activity

Take the elevators every time

Driving to Grandma’s House

Use the downstairs toilet

Vacuuming the stairs

Drive to the shops

Drive the car through the car wash

Drive the children to school



Constantly missed going to the gym or aerobics because it was too late, a meeting cropped up, we were too tired.


Sit and catch up with each other over a coffee on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

New Improved Version

Take the stairs most of the time.

We now bike to Grandmas

We now use the upstairs toilet

We now brush down with a dustpan and brush.

We bike to the shops

We hand wash the car

Walking with them (it takes 10 minutes extra but also gives us time to talk and look at what’s going on around us, how the seasons are changing, etc.).

We now each do 10 minutes muscle toning exercises each day, invested in an aerobics video which we do when we find the energy and dance energetically with the kids whenever we can convince them it’s a good idea.

We catch up over a lovely brisk walk that takes between 30 and 45 minutes. When the kids come with us they bike it.

We’d also got into the habit of going for meals or to the cinema on the rare occasions we managed to get a baby sitter and had time to ourselves. In our quest to get active and move more, we decided to shake things up a bit on that front too. We thought about the activities we did together when we first met which were much more active. We simply decided to get back into them.

Old Treat Activity

Go to the cinema

Go for a meal

New Improved Version

Play squash, tennis or badminton together

Go to the Sauna/Swimming Pool with a Salad in the Restaurant After

Whereas before we took the easy option and made terrible excuses for not doing what we knew needed to be done, we are now getting active and moving more. Despite the fact that these are all substitute activities that are not taking up much more of our time we are already seeing the difference to our bodies. We feel more energetic and are most definitely more toned. Time will tell.

What about you? Is there room in your life to get active? What new improved activities or substitute activities can you think of to get you moving more? Let us know on catATcandolifeskillsDOTcom or leave a comment below.

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