Today I received an email from my Aunt Laura. From time to time, she’ll send through an adorable dog video or photos of one of her kids’ latest self-cut hairdo’s. And although all of the emails Aunt Laura sends evoke happy feelings, today’s was particularly inspiring. Entitled “Staircase vs. Escalator-This is Awesome!”, I thought I’d surely see people tripping down stairs or something of the sort. I was clearly wrong. Take a look for yourself.
“The Fun Theory“, a Volkswagen initiative, “is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.” What a novel idea! The staircase vs. escalator experiment is a genius way to get people moving. Based on the sole fact that the piano staircase looked like a fun choice, people chose to engage in the healthier alternative. They chose to climb the stairs, to dance up and down the stairs, to get their bodies moving and their heart rates up without a second thought!
I think this is something that can and should be incorporated into every person’s daily routines. Most American adults are overweight because of too many excuses to name and that’s just not OK. Think about your childhood. You probably didn’t exercise and you probably didn’t need to. Why? Because you spent most of your time outside running around with your friends…having fun! So, why don’t we do that anymore? Is it because we’re too busy and we have to get the most burn in the most efficient way, the most “bang for our buck” so to speak? Or is it because we’re afraid of embarrassing ourselves? I’d assume it’s a little bit of both. Well, let’s get over it! Now, I’m not suggesting that we start up a neighborhood game of freeze tag each night, although that would be fun! What I am saying is that we must make a conscious effort to actually enjoy the tasks in life that get us moving.
There are countless ways we can live a more active life with very little alteration to our daily habits. Instead of circling a parking lot looking for a close spot, park far away and use the extra time you have walking to listen to your favorite song on your ipod, or use that time to pray with thanksgiving. Instead of watching TV at night, go on a walk with a loved one. Ride your bike to the local post office instead of using the mailbox at the end of the driveway. Dance while you clean.
In the same regard, enlist a workout buddy when you do make time for rigorous exercise. If you read Cara’s post about our recent triathlon, you have an idea of how important it was for all of us to train and compete together. Even when you’re at different fitness levels, just knowing that you have someone in your corner, encouraging you along, is enough to make working out fun. For instance, Reagan was a exercise machine during her pregnancy! Cara, Mijanne and I would go into a kickboxing class, and although Reagan was on the other side of the glass riding the recumbent bike, it was so motivating knowing she was out there doin’ her thang despite the human growing inside her making every move difficult.
So, get motivated. Find a buddy. Take notice of where you can incorporate elements of enjoyment into your daily activity. Be fit and have FUN!