Non-Exercise Daily Activities Contribute To Good Health
We've all been told how important exercise is for maintaining our health.
However, if we are being treated for or are recovering from an eating disorder, we might have been advised not to do anything resembling strenuous exercise – or we may not have the energy for it.
The good news is that non-exercise physical activity is more beneficial for our health than we tend to realize. Any activity that engages our body in movement is good for us and helps us stay healthy, including heart-healthy.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that a generally active daily lifestyle was associated with cardiovascular health and longevity, even when individuals did not exercise regularly. So instead of worrying about whether or not we can exercising, we can feel good about the activities we are accomplishing.
Non-Exercise Physical Activity
Non-exercise physical activity can be anything that gets us moving and works our muscles, such as pushing a vacuum, cooking and baking, playing with the family pet, washing windows, folding laundry, woodworking or tidying up a room. These tasks not only engage our muscles, but they also release stress. Keeping our home clean and organized is also known to help relieve depression and anxiety.
We may choose to combine these homey activities with the practice of mindfulness – the practice of keeping our awareness in the present moment. A calm mind benefits our mental, emotional and physical health. If our attention is on the task at hand, then it is not dwelling, ruminating or worrying about the past or the future.
Although few people seem to love the mundane duties of maintaining a household, such as scrubbing the toilet bowl, it can be motivating to think of these jobs as non-exercise physical activities, or simply as gentle to moderate forms of exercise. Our bodies are built to move, but the movements do not have to be extreme to be beneficial.