How to Keep Moving Around Life’s Challenges


By Evgeniya Larionova, NP
Bariatric Nurse Practitioner

We all know that regular physical activity plays an integral role in helping to prevent excess weight gain or maintaining weight loss. However, sometimes life gets in the way. See tips below for working around some of life’s daily challenges.

woman mopping her kitchen floorRemember, it’s never too late to start exercising. You can start with small steps, and start slow. You can even accomplish 30 minutes of exercise a day through three ten-minute intervals.

Scenario #1

You come home after a busy day at work. You need to make a dinner and pick up kids from soccer practice. The dinner takes a long time to prepare and cook.

Possible Solution

Take a couple of nice deep breaths. You got it. Life can be hectic, but there are low-key exercises that you can do at home. Pilates, light yoga and stretching can help relax your muscles, relieve tension and alleviate all the stress that you likely accumulated throughout the day.

Also, you might have some house work to do: vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, washing dishes. Did you know that gardening (pulling weed, planting flowers) can burn about 200-400 calories per hour, or light house cleaning (dusting, taking out the trash) can burn 120-170 calories per hour.

Scenario #2

You came home feeling tired and exhausted. It’s been a particularly stressful day at work. You want to put your comfy pajamas on, watch your favorite movie and forget about your gym session.

Possible Solution

We all know that exercises are among the best natural stress relievers. Take 30 minutes of your time and explore Zumba. Go online and simply search “Zumba videos” and find the type of workout that you like. Zumba exercises will help improve your mood and bring your energy back.  Also, try dancing, which is similar to Zumba and will help to strengthen your heart, tone your muscles and contribute to weight loss. After this, you can watch that movie in your comfy pajamas.

Scenario #3

Chronic low back and knee pain can be debilitating. For some people, chronic joint pain can be a major obstacle for regular exercises. What to do?

Possible Solution

Leave your gym shoes in the closet and explore water exercises. Water is easy on the joints and therapeutic. YMCAs and different community pools have programs designed especially for people with joint pain.

Scenario #4

You work all day sitting at your desk. You understand that your sedentary lifestyle puts you at high risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and muscle loss.

Possible Solution

Bring a timer to work and get up and move every so often. Walking and stretching for just two minutes an hour can help loosen your joints and boost your circulation. Also, a little more activity throughout the day can actually reverse the weight gain.


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