Photo by Amie Johnson

A trainer once told me if I wasn’t willing to or was unable to do “real” cardio, then I should resign myself to walking for 4 hours each day to loose weight. 4 hours!

Um, no. I could go on to list the MILLION reasons why that’s not ever going to happen, but I won’t. Because you know.

While he may have been technically “right” I’m pretty sure he was just trying to get me agree that running for 30 minutes a day was more practical. Which it is. But I hate running. A lot. And so I’ve found some other ways to stay active. Read on!

1. WALK – like, everywhere

That trainer did say to walk a lot – but who has 4 hours a day? If you’re like me (a fellow run-hater) I say this – walk WHEN and WHERE you can, whenever you can. The Mayo Health Clinic agrees!

“…the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn.”

Mayo Health Clinic, From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

My favorite way to exercise (hehe) this option is on an hour+ morning walk with my daughter strapped into the jogger 3 times a week. We re-heat some protein pancakes and bring a fresh yogurt pouch as on-the-go breakfast for LO, I grab some coffee halfway and take any conference calls that might be scheduled for early morning. It sounds crazy – but it works! and MAN do I feel great after such a productive morning!

Take a new route each time. Take the stairs. Take the long way, on purpose. Just take a walk!

2. DANCE!

“A healthy lifestyle is integrating the mind, body and soul relationship, and dance has all of those characteristics.”

Emily Sandow, supervisor of dance physical therapy at NYU for CNN Health

The best part about this one is you can do it literally ANYWHERE, ANY time! You can do it in the kitchen while you make breakfast, prep a lunch or have a snack, you can do it in the play area with your LO, even on that conference call you agreed to take last minute! Don’t have a speaker? It’s cool – use your super smart phone! Crank up the music that gets your heart pumping and just DANCE!

Check out this article from CNN for more reasons you should add a daily dose of dance to your life!

3. Get creative!

It may sound strange, but Homer isn’t far off – companies like Stamina are innovating every day to help those of us stuck behind a desk to be healthier and more active in any way we can.

Check out this under-desk elliptical – I can say from personal experience this thing is AMAZING! At under $100 it’s a fraction of what it would cost to own a full size elliptical, or a gym membership, not to mention its space saving compact size!

My favorite time to use it is on a video conference call with some of my friendlier work-mates – they love to see me bounce up and down as I try to explain a complicated workflow or design solution 😂 I just tell them it keeps the creative juices flowing! I grab some light free-weights to help get my heart rate up and by the time my call is over I am super sweaty and super satisfied.

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4. You for Yoga?

I am a klutz. Ask anyone who’s spent more than 8 minutes with me. I am a goof. I giggle when I am uncomfortable or embarrassed. I am not the “stay quietly in downward dog for 3 breaths in a dark room full of strangers” type.

However, I do really enjoy yoga. I just choose to do it from the comfort of my own home. I roll out my mat in the living room and boot up my Daily Burn app, hit play on my next session and 30 minutes later I’m done.

Kid tip: let them join in! They LOVE doing all the poses and spending time with you. It’s also a great way to introduce them to exercise and staying healthy! BUT! Just be warned… they WILL try to crawl under your 3 breath downward dog or bridge!

Check out all the amazing classes Daily Burn offers via streaming to your smart phone, tablet, computers or Apple TV!

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5. Sssstttreetttch!

Don’t forget to stretch MAMAs! It’s so, so good for you! Make sure you’re treating your muscles right and helping them recuperate from that hard work(out) you’ve been mastering!

It’s not enough to build muscle and achieve aerobic fitness. You need to think about flexibility, too.

Harvard Health Letter

The study also goes on to say:

“Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible, and this means that exertion ‘won’t put too much force on the muscle itself….’ Healthy muscles also help a person with balance problems to avoid falls.”

Hmmmmm…. Maybe I should stretch a little more 😉

What are YOUR favorite ways to stay active? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hi! I'm the founder of sayMAMA - a working mom, probably just like you! I'm a Creative Art Director and designer working from home in Los Angles, CA looking for a way to move ahead in my career while still being there for my little one's biggest moments. My goal is to connect you with other MAMA's and support you and your success. Welcome to our community!

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