How Getting Up and Moving Adds to Your Healthy Gluten-Free Lifestyle
You’ve heard us say this before, Happy Campers, eliminating or reducing gluten in your diet is just the first step to discovering the healthiest and happiest version of yourself! On this journey to gluten-free wellness and happiness, we’re so excited to learn from all of you and share all the facets and tips that help us thrive. Movement, a.k.a. Exercise is definitely one of those!
Don’t Be Intimidated: You Can Do This!
Exercise may seem daunting to some, but it doesn’t have to be. Federal guidelines advocate that all you need is 30 minutes of exercise a day. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association, this doesn’t necessarily have to be all at once. In fact, several five – or 10-minute exercise sessions throughout the day can have the same long-term health benefits as a continuous 30-minute workout. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
Here at Happy Campers, we begin each day with 30 minutes of stretching, right after getting out of bed and drinking a glass of water.
It’s the best way to wake up and begin the day. It feels so good that it is a self-enforcing routine that’s been really easy to keep up. Lacy likes to take the dogs for a brisk walk out on nearby trails usually twice a day and does yoga most days a week, along with some strength exercise. I like to exercise for 30 – 90 minutes during my lunch break. My routine consists of running and strength exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups; which are all easy to do at home or in the office.
On the weekend, we love to go out for longer hikes with friends out in the mountains or go to the water and swim. We also love games, which are a fun way to exercise. There are so many things you can do for 30 minutes that can be both fun and enjoyable. Let’s explore some!
Why not go for a walk? Take your dog if you have one, or go with a friend. Exercising with someone else can hold you more accountable than doing it alone. It’s also helpful if you have a goal. Have you ever wanted to run a 5k or a marathon? Why not train for it? Get a group together to train with and sign up for a 5k. When you finish that, sign up for the next race, and work your way up to a marathon. You can do it!
Keep track of your goals and you will be able to finish it, and it will feel so good when you make it across the finish line.
If you have a sit-down job, there are some simple ways to exercise while you’re working. Instead of parking close to the door, park in the back of the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand at your desk a few times a day and stretch. If you have an Apple Watch or Fitbit, track your steps for the day. You can even set up your watch to remind you to stand every hour.
During baking, especially during the long days (and nights), Lacy and I sometimes put on some dance music. It’s energizing and helps us move, rather than stand in one place. Everybody has his or her jam, of course, but my favorite baking music is the old stuff, like Dean Martin or Fred Astair. I know, I know, a bit goofy, but there is just something so light-hearted and just plain delightful about those retro tunes!
Take a Class
Do yoga. It is not only good for the body, but also for the soul. It has a lot of health benefits, as well as reduces stress, relieves anxiety, and increases strength. You can find a local class or watch a video online and practice from the comfort of your home.
Take an aerobics or dance class. Get your body moving to the beat. Classes can be fun when you’re in a group of people who are motivating you to keep going. Try a spin class. Get your heart rate going and pumped up when you finish the class. Take a friend or go by yourself. Try different types of workouts or classes and discover what you enjoy and what works best for you.
One of our favorite ways to stay active is by playing games. If jogging around just doesn’t sound like that much fun, then games may help to get that awesome movement that your body craves! Our favorites are beach volleyball, badminton, frisbee, frisbee golf, corn hole and ladder ball. These are awesome for the whole family and all ages. We actually keep track of the score, because it takes the game to the next level and gets everyone super excited and competitive. Getting together with your friends and playing these games is one of our favorite weekend activities. During the summer, we try to do a couple of evening games during the week too! Light up your inner kid, go all out and play
Besides the physical benefits of getting your blood pumping and working your cardiovascular and muscular system, movement also increases your happiness. Movement increases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in your brain and reduces stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. It just feels good to move and it feels even better afterward!
Fuel Up for the Fun
When exercising, make sure to fuel up with nutritious meals! Make a smoothie for a post-workout meal. Cook at home a few times a week and move around the kitchen while you cook. Maybe even dance a little. When cooking, you may want to consider some recipes from our friends at Lemons & Leggings. They have some great gluten-free and vegan meal recipes that look absolutely delicious!
Do some simple research on how good movement really is for you. It’s amazing what movement can do. Coupled with eating wholesome, nutritious food, you’re guaranteed to feel better, younger, stronger, more energetic, and are on your way to becoming a Happy Camper!
Your body needs to move at least once every hour. Studies show that moving boosts productivity and helps your immune system. So dance, walk, skip, jump, run; as long as you move throughout the day, you will feel more energized, happier, and more accomplished. Just another wonderful step to take your gluten-free living to the next level and start thriving!
- “Exercise: How much do I need every day?” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916
- “13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga#section13
- “Recipes” https://lemonsandleggings.com/recipes/
- “The Importance of Movement” https://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/the-importance-of-movement
- “Rethinking the 30-minute workout” https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/rethinking-the-30-minute-workout
- “Is there a link between exercise and happiness” https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/exercise-happiness.htm