March Madness is here! While there are some other times during the year that I am the least active (holidays mainly), I find myself like many other sports fans, sitting down during the first 4 days of the NCAA tournament.
I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in an inspiring walking program called “Graham Walks”. While many do a great job of getting their steps in each week, I have found that watching television is the main thing that keeps people from accomplishing their goals. I too have been subject to sitting down for long periods of time honing in on my favorite show or watching my favorite team, but over the past few years, I’ve realized that I don’t need to sit down to enjoy it. After noticing one of my participants in Graham Walks who easily averages over 10k steps per day only get about 2K on NFL Sundays, I realized that I needed to bring my idea to the masses. Let me introduce to you a new phenomenon in activity… The HOUSE WALK! This is a revolutionary way to get your steps in and fulfill your exercise goals while still being able to watch your favorite TV show or the big game. The best thing about it is that you don’t need a considerable amount space or much of anything else to do it. Here is how you set things up for the best success: 1. Find a potential path in your house that you can walk, jog or run and be able to watch or listen to the TV the entire time you are being active. - It could be around one or multiple objects
2. Move anything that is in your way to create that best path. (furniture, kids toys, etc..) 3. Be careful and stay safe! Even though you are in your residence, you need to take the same precautions as if you were outside or at the gym. 4. Walk, jog or run
The next questions you have to answer are: how much do you want to exercise and do you want to incorporate anything else into it?
Here are a few options:
Exercise during commercials
Exercise for 30 minutes
Exercise for the 1st half of a game
Exercise for an entire game or show
Exercise until you reach your daily fitness goal
What can you do to step it up a notch while house walking? If you are able to do “laps” around your selected area, you can do "add-ins" as you exercise. Here are some examples:
After every ten laps I complete, I do 10 push-ups
Every 5 minutes, I stop, look at the TV, and do 1 minute of "high-knees" in place
Every 10 minutes, I will stop, look at the TV and do 1 minute of fast sprinting in place
After 25 laps, I will stop and do 25 jumping jacks
While I walk, I will do various weight lifting exercises, though minimal it can add to the exercise!
While it may seem strange, this is almost the exact same thing as walking on a treadmill at the gym. The biggest difference is that you control your pace and you control what is on the TV! This phenomenon is perfect for the winter months. In addition, if you have young children that don’t allow you to leave your home to go to the gym, this is the workout for you.
If you are fortunate enough to have a home that allows you to freely walk or jog through an open layout or through rooms without running into walls, you will be able to make this much easier and more fun! The bottom line is that the more active we are, the healthier we can potentially become. When the option is to move or not to move, I don’t even think there is a question. GET UP AND MOVE!
Aaron is a native of Illinois and a graduate of Grand View University with degrees in Health Promotion and Sports Management. He joined the Graham Recreation and Parks Department as Athletic Supervisor in 2009 and in 2017 assumed the role of Program Supervisor. Aaron also serves on the many local and statewide committees, including the Member Engagement role on NCRPA's Board of Directors