Image courtesy of Creative Commons
It's Monday morning and the heavens have opened, running from bus to office rain pitters and patters, leaving ankles dirtied and coiffed hair limp. The usual cut through has been blockaded by florescent jackets and pneumatic drills - dashing the long way round you huff and puff as your heart beats with the same ferocity as the rain. Coming into the foyer you find the elevators are out of order and with a collective groan from your colleagues, each looking as though they've stepped off the same storm damaged vessel, you begin the weary trudge upstairs.
We've all been there, and when you finally slump through the doors of the office, fishing for a smidgen of sympathy, someone butts in with the most mum-sy of comments - 'Just think of it as exercise'.
'Just think of it as excerise?!?'
Well death glares and gruff moods aside the advice is actually dead on, if typically ill-timed.
When everyday inconveniences such as wrong turns, missed buses and broken remotes (because in the 21st Century no one need stand to change channels) are enough to put us in a bad mood then it's only because we're a little bit lazy. Are we so used to having everything at the push of a button that going out of our way seems so out of the ordinary? Well let's be 'glass half full' for a second - each inconvenience encourages us to expend excess energy, forcing us to take a more active approach to everyday life. Now that's not all bad is it?
The calories burned add up much quicker than you might think, for every five minutes spent walking the average person burns 30 calories and for every 5 minutes just standing you burn 5 - 10 calories. This may seem incidental, but as Tesco have been telling us for the better half of a decade - 'Every little helps'. 30 calories here and 40 calories there will soon become 100 calories, 200 calories and more. Considering all of this is without any major lifestyle changes you'll find the pounds start falling off in no time. It really is that easy - just bust the lure of lazy days and make a habit of getting up and about, avoiding short cuts and going the extra mile.
And it's good for more than just your waistline - rather than languishing on the sofa, debating another boxset before tossing-and-turning in, you'll feel ready to rest earlier ensuring you rise and shine at just the right time. What's more with the extra exercise and hours of sleep your sense of wellbeing will improve. You'll naturally become accustomed to being active and soon going the extra mile and overcoming inconvenience will be normalised until it ceases to be an inconvenience at all.
Just like laziness, an active lifestyle is habit forming, and rather than feeling bad about whether or not you're getting enough exercise each day you can feel good in yourself, from yourself. So when you sit in that office chair after an arduous adventure into work repeat the Monday morning mantra - 'just think of it as exercise!'