Somewhere along my fitness journey, I coined the term “free cardio,” and it really stuck. It probably doesn’t make much sense, but to me it does, and it has become something I live by. It is a mindset that gives me more energy during the day and makes me feel happier, even when I’m doing stuff I really don’t want to do (like bending over to dig all the dog toys out from under the couch – again!)
Did you know by simply standing that you could burn at least 100 calories per hour? That’s so easy, so imagine how much you can do when you start moving too! Free cardio is about celebrating and enjoying anything that gets you moving, because no matter if it’s something small that takes 20 seconds or something you dread that might take an hour, your body is moving more than you were expecting.
I’ll try my best to write a definition, but it all comes down to mindset.. Hopefully when you find yourself active during the day, you think more positively and feel happy in whatever you’re doing because you are burning calories, no matter how it may be!
Free Cardio (n.) – Unexpected activity requiring the body to move to complete a minor or undesirable task, yet remains physical activity nonetheless
Hey mom, I’ll take the trash out for you while I am here, you know I love free cardio!
Did the kids bring home some extra dirty clothes today?
Laundry = free cardio!
Standing up, switching the wash, folding clothes all gets your body moving, so instead of thinking about how aggravating it is to wash all the clothes, maybe when you’d certainly rather be watching the latest episode of the Bachelor or something, remember your body is moving more, and that’s a good thing!
Forget to order eggs in your grocery pick-up?
Get back in the car and drive over to the corner store to grab them! Who cares if you are going out of your way? You weren’t expecting to walk around the store today, but now you get to burn a few unexpected calories!
Need to check the mail box?
It seems so silly, but especially during a pandemic when we are all so used to staying in, it could feel like a chore to walk out and grab the mail. Instead of another item on your honey-do list, think of it as free cardio!
Whatever it is you find yourself doing, be proud of yourself for moving! It can be so easy to get stuck in your seat and not get active, so be grateful for every excuse you have to get up! It’s a Mindset. When you find the good, even in something as boring as vacuuming the house, cleaning under the kids’ beds, or scooping dog 💩, you will feel good too!
Mind over matter – you can choose to be tired, agitated, or just simply “over it”, or you can choose to accept what needs to be done and find the plus side! There is something good in every thing, even if it just knowing you got your body moving a little extra!
Looking to enjoy your free cardio? Check out some unique ways below to have fun with friends and family, while also getting a workout in simultaneously!
Shopping: peruse the mall or outlets with your loved ones for a fun day out, and there’s no rule that you HAVE to shop when you walk around the stores 😉 it’s okay to be in it just for the free cardio!
Dog Walks: Spoil your pup and get some exercise next time the weather is nice
Flea Markets & Yard Sales: don’t just drive by – Park the car and add a few steps to your fitbit exploring some old goodies along the way
Visit a park or playground: the family will all have fun, and you’ll probably spend most of the trip on your feet!
Charades: who remembers this game? Next game night, have everyone on their toes while they guess what you’re doing while you’re getting that free cardio in too
What activities do you enjoy doing, or have found joy in doing? Honestly, a good dance party while cleaning the bathrooms really changes the tone!