Thursday, August 12, 2010

Incidental exercise - Creating new habits

I have been thinking about the differences in our physical activity in the past and now. Our parents/grandparents would have been unlikely to have been members of gyms so where did they get their exercise from?
I have heard it mentioned by some that it is because we do less 'manual labor' around the home but ask any mum how often they are sitting on their behinds drinking wine whilst manicuring their nails and you will probably be met with laughter!
I know that in my family and my husband's family our parents were part of sporting clubs at least until their thirties, so this *may* have something to it. But unlikely to explain everyone back then.
Walking is the only exercise I can see that was very normal in past generations. Not everyone had a car (or two!) so were reliant on public transport and walking.

In my house I have made a conscious effort to consider if walking somewhere or catching the bus is a possibility and have found with the food/lifestyle choices I have made, allows me to make quick trips to the supermarket for washing powder or toilet paper. These times I usually walk.
If there is a little bit more to get (but not urgent) I will spread the trips out over 2-3 days.
For some reason I find having a 'purpose' for walking makes it seem less like exercise and *more* like an 'eco-choice' not to use the car. Which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
I am somewhat pleased also that I am teaching my daughter that even though we have a car, it isn't the only choice of transport.
Similarly, I make an incidental exercise choice when I go to the shopping centre. You won't find me circling for 10 mins trying to find the closest parking space....I simply pull in to the first available and walk the extra 90 seconds from my car. All the while saving the time it would take to find that 'close' park.
If you actually critically think about how much longer it would take for you to walk the extra 300 metres, you feel a little bit of a twit for circling.

And now to public transport. Here is where I had a little bit of a problem.
For worries! Catch it to uni everyday. Fantastic! Someone else drives and I read. Perfect arrangement.
Child in a pram...not so good. Sorry.
I struggled with my nephew in the city sooooo much I nearly cried! I was struggling with the nappy bag that kept sliding off my shoulder as I tried to pick up the pram (with no help from the friggen driver!) AND have my nephew on the other hip - urgh!
I guess for me, baby + pram + bus = hassle and all depends on the day and the driver.

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