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11 simple things you're not doing to stay in shape

Boomgono is interested in getting and staying in shape, but I just have better things to do with my time than punish myself in a quest to look like a magazine's idea of perfection. I’m over that. Don’t we just want more energy and power to do the things we care about, to add more years to our lives and life to our years?

National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner gets it. In his TED talk “How to live to be 100+” Buettner tells what he's learned from studying the longest-lived peoples in the world—what people who live to be 100-plus in Italy, Japan, and the U.S. have in common. What's their secret? One of the things Buettner discovered is that they don't have a specific exercise program. Instead, they add physical activity to their lives in little ways, all the time, as they go about doing the things that matter to them.

So it's not about “working out” a few hours a week. It's about doing everything we do in a more energetic, active way. This got me thinking. I've come up with a few ways to add energy and action to our lives, in our world. (I'll bet you have more ideas. How do you stay active every day? Tell us in the comments section, below.)

  1. It's obvious, but so few of us do it: Walk, instead of driving, wherever you can.
  2. Too far to walk? Use public transit. Not only is it better for the planet, but researchers at the University of British Columbia found that people who use public transit are far more likely to get as much daily physical activity as doctors recommend—without thinking about exercise prescriptions.
  3. When you must drive, just park farther away. Not only will you move more, but you'll save yourself the stress of driving in circles, searching for that “perfect” parking spot. Boomgono is all about learning how to stress less!
  4. To get moving and brighten your attitude, as well as your yard, get into gardening. Researchers in Texas found that people who garden not only get more exercise, but they perceive their quality of life to be better than that of non-gardeners.
  5. Do as much of your own yard work as you physically can, with the most old-fashioned, human-powered tools you can handle. For example, mow your own lawn with a push mower instead of a gas-powered one. Use a rake and broom instead of a leaf blower.
  6. Even housework can be less of a chore and more of an active adventure. Do it yourself as much as you're able, and again, use low-tech tools.
  7. Add more workout to your office work. Get a desk or work station, like the ones in this Mashable post, that lets you stand up while you use your computer or do paperwork. Mashable quotes experts that say working at a stand-up desk reduces back pain and may even help prevent heart attacks. It goes with Boomgono's fitness motto: No pain, no pain!
  8. When you do sit, sit actively. Choose a fitness ball or a chair with a balance disc. Active sitting improves your posture and builds back and abdominal muscles while you focus on other things.
  9. Got a pet? Have fun with him or her! Instead of just a potty break, take your dog for a real walk—or maybe even a run. Play frisbee or wrestle on the floor. If you have a cat, wrestle, chase him, or run through the house dragging her favorite toy.
  10. Kids are for playing! If you have children or grandchildren, get active with them. Play on the playground. Toss or kick a ball. Go for walks. Turn on their favorite music and dance. If you don't have your own kids or grandbabies nearby, consider borrowing some. Some call this “babysitting.” Boomgono calls it “an intergenerational play date.”
  11. Walk and talk. When you're having an important talk with anyone—whether you're meeting with a client, working out a problem with a child, or enjoying a peaceful evening with your spouse—take a walk while you talk. Walking calms people, helps you say what you mean, and keeps you feeling alert and alive.

Working out the Boomgono way means feeling more active and alive in every moment.

What do you do to add more action and energy to your everyday life?