- Take a walk. Walking is wonderful exercise. It also helps prevent bone-thinning osteoporosis, which often plagues older women.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you`re out of shape, start by walking down. When you feel ready, walk up part way, and work up to climbing all the way. When climbing stairs no longer leaves you winded, climb a little faster.
- Park a few blocks farther away. Walk the extra distance to work, the mall, the movies, church, or friends` homes. As you gain stamina, park even farther away and/or walk more briskly.
- Buy a backpack. Instead of driving to all your errands, walk as much as possible, and use your backpack for purchases.
- Cancel food dates. Instead of meeting friends for lunch, coffee, or dessert, make dates to take walks, go dancing, or go for bike rides. Or make a date to visit a health club. Most clubs allow free one-time visits to check out the facility. Try several.
- Make breaks count. During breaks, at work or during television commercials, get up and stretch or walk around. Organise your co-workers and housemates to join you.
- Make the most of phone time. Don`t sit while talking on the phone, pace. Invest in a longer handset cord so you can walk farther, or get a cordless phone. If you must stand in one spot, march in place, raising your knees up high. Or rise to tip-toes. Do this five times, then do five deep-knee bends. When you feel ready, do 10.
- Make the most of microwave minutes. Don`t just stand there watching the clock tick away the seconds. Pace, stretch, or do some weight-lifting.
- Put more energy into housework. Washing floors, taking out the trash, vigorous sweeping and vacuuming, and other chores provide more exercise than most people think. If you step up the pace a bit, you`ll get finished faster and you`ll get more exercise as well.
- Make the most of unpacking groceries. Curl and press cans a few times. When you feel ready, try it with six-packs.
- Don`t automatically reach for the food processor. When time permits, cut, chop, and dice vegetables by hand.
- Tend a garden. Digging, weeding, raking, cutting, and hauling build strength, flexibility, and stamina.
If any physical activity causes sharp pain, stop doing it. Pain is a message that something is wrong. If it persists, see a doctor. However, it`s normal to feel some muscle soreness 12 to 48 hours after exercise, especially if you`re not in great shape. Soreness feels like a dull ache. It`s no cause for concern, though you might want to take aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to relieve it. Wait until your soreness has subsided, then continue exercising. Over time, as you get in shape, soreness stops unless you increase the duration or intensity of your workout.