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So, I don’t know about you but after being on numerous sports teams since the age of ten, continuing traditional and intense exercise as an adult seems daunting. I know that a rigorous exercise routine will (with a good diet) give me results. But quite honestly, I just don’t want to work that hard anymore!

I’m not overweight and not looking to lose a significant amount, but I want to maintain a more lean physique year-round. To do that, the routine has to be sustainable. So I’ve found 5 methods that, when combined with a balanced diet, help me stay in shape but don’t keep me in the gym!

Yoga

If you have read any of my past blogs, you know what an advocate of yoga I am. I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to be super flexible and able to do handstands to be healthy and fit. I actually believe that the stretching and mindfulness of yoga are the most beneficial parts. That being said, even just light daily stretching can make such a difference in your circulation, flexibility, mobility and even mood as we age.

Join a Team

Now this may be the last thing some of you want to do but there are actually tons of options! You can join a softball team, a sand volleyball team or even a dance team. Most non-academic teams are not nearly so competitive, this being the case you shouldn’t need any intense conditioning. But this gives you at least 1-2 nights (and some weekends) a week with physical activity and excess calories burned. 

Walk

One of the easiest ways to get in some exercise for the day is to just walk! Besides exploring your neighborhood when you walk your dog, try walking downtown and exploring your own city a bit, I promise you haven’t seen it all. And of course, walk at local parks or even the mall—especially if it has stairs!

Hiking & Biking

And if you have already explored your local city or town to the fullest and are ready to branch out, start with local hiking trails. You’d be surprised just how many are out there. Some for motorized vehicles and others for mountain bikers, hikers and even mountain climbers.  And if you have a bike just collecting dust in the garage but aren’t much for mountain trails, ride it everywhere else! Whether it’s for simple errands or just to get out of the house, every little bit helps!

Diet

And everyone’s least favorite word, diet! I’ve done plenty of diets growing up and into my adult years, and I’ve found out that I can’t stick with them long term. So I gave up trying to create meal plans for myself and started focusing more on portion control rather than restricting certain foods. I try to make sure I’m getting enough protein, carbs and fats, but I still also enjoy the foods I love just in smaller doses!

All in all, I don’t think rigorous exercise has to be a part of your life forever, you can certainly pull back on your hours at the gym. However, you’ve got to replace that activity with something else, even if all it is is walking the dog more often throughout the day. Just look for simple ways to stay on your feet daily and quite honestly, out of the house!