Over the course of the next few weeks, we are going to be looking at some alternative ways we can have fun and stay active. While I am a big proponent of sports and being involved in organized athletics, I know that it is not for everyone. Even if playing sports is not your thing, there are still plenty of ways you can stay active.

1. Put a “Could I walk or ride my bike?” sticky note on your front door or the door to the garage. Having the note in plain sight will help you ask yourself if you really need to hop in your car to take the books back to the library, go to your friend’s house or grab a couple things at the grocery store. This is not only good for you, it is also good for the environment!

2. Go on a scavenger hunt. This has always been one of my favorites since I was a kid! Make a list that includes items such as five red cars, three houses with yellow flowers in front, two cats, four stop signs, and so on. Get creative. The more you do this, the harder to find you can make the items on the list. After you have come up several “treasures” for to find, head out around the neighborhood until you’ve found them all. This is something that can be done in a group, individually or even as a competition with teams.

3. Make after-dinner walks a regular habit. Many times after dinner, it is easy to turn on the TV, put in a movie, or even sit down to read a book. Rather than immediately doing any of those things, start going for a walk right after dinner instead. You can even play games while you walk – the alphabet game, I Spy or sing a song. There are many options to make your walks more fun.

4. Start a trash pick-up day. Grab a shopping bag and head out around your neighborhood for 20 minutes. If you see neighbors outside, tell them what you are doing and ask them to join you. Every time you have to bend to pick up a piece of trash, turn the move into a squat – pretend you are about to sit in a chair until your upper legs are almost parallel to the ground. You’ll not only be helping the environment and making your neighborhood look better, you will be getting in shape while doing it.

5. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Most shelters will let you participate with a little bit of training, after which you will usually be allowed to walk the dogs and play with the animals. Have a favorite breed? You can find rescue centers for labs, retrievers, even Schnoodles (Schnauzer/poodle mixes) by asking at your local humane society, animal shelter or veterinary hospital.

I hope these suggestions inspire you to find some alternative means of getting your heart rate up and being active. Next week we will discuss a few more creative ways to get moving. In the meantime, get out there and have some fun!

Until next week,

Coach Michael

Today’s Fun Fact: A jiffy is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Thus the saying, “I’ll be there in a jiffy.”

Amazing Athletes of Oklahoma

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