Adding Strength Training to Everyday Activities
My sweet labrador Molly is my four-legged child. She has needs that pull at me daily. I adore her and love being with her. But sometimes I feel like she is another being who needs something from me, and I feel strapped for time!At minimum, she needs a daily walk, two 10 minute ball-throwing sessions and a weekly swim and doggie social hour for her to feel her best and be calm. Most of the time, my husband and I piece this together, but a lot of the time we’re not able to get it all in.
Fitness with Molly
As part of my integrated life fitness plan, I’m experimenting with combining my fitness needs with Molly’s. Today I did squats and lunges while I threw her the ball. When I bent over to pick up the ball, I did intentional squats. In between throwing her the ball, I would also do a few lunges. Hey, if I did this twice per day, that’s ten squats per ball-throwing session. I’d get in twenty per day and that’s 140 squats or lunges per week!
I also discovered that by using my son’s foam baseball bat to hit the ball for Molly instead of using the ball thrower I normally use, I made more of an effort, and even made myself sweat a bit.
Amping it Up in Everyday Life
I’ve also been experimenting with doing abdominal contractions when I’m driving. Heel lifts also work when I’m waiting at counter in a store. I’ve been doing these things for about a week, and I can already tell the difference. I feel stronger in my legs from all the squats, and my core feels firmer. Yet, I haven’t gone once to the gym to do a “work out.”
My next step is to find how I can get some upper body strengthening integrated into my day. It’s great to feel the benefits so quickly and to have not had to add any extra time to my day.
Mari is a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine, a singer/songwriter and the creator of Mamashine. She is also a survivor of postpartum depression. Mari lives with her energetic son, her husband and various animals in Austin, TX.