Do you ever find yourself wondering where the time went?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 44 hours per week, or 8.8 hours per day. If you’re like me, you spend most of that time staring at a computer while sitting at a desk.
After returning home from work, the last thing I want to do is to sit around some more. Yes, I’m tired. Yes, my brain is trying to tell me to binge watch another season of a Netflix flavor-of-the-month instead. But inactivity doesn’t improve my health, it only encourages self-isolation (I’m not nurturing friendships while watching TV!), and quite frankly my household begins to look the worse for wear. So, how do I stay active and make sure that I’m making the most of every minute of my life? I move! That’s right. I keep my body in motion.
If your evenings after work just seem to vanish into thin air or perhaps every day is monotonous, make a conscious effort to m-o-v-e. If you’re chasing kids around the house, you’re already staying active and I commend you for being a rock star parent. This post is written for someone who doesn’t have to keep up with active kiddos or perhaps simply wants to change up their routine after work.
Disclaimer: Everyone needs to take a load off and relax, and by no means am I suggesting that you not answer your body’s call for rest. Sometimes you need to chillax. But on the other days…
1. GO OUTSIDE
Whether you use your time after work to walk the dog or maintain your landscaping, the health benefits of exposing yourself to the outdoors are vast. For example, spending as little as 15 minutes outdoors in the sun will increase your level of Vitamin D, a nutrient needed to maintain strong bones.
Besides, even a short walk has a de-stressing effect and can improve your concentration allowing you to think creatively. By letting your mind wander, you may just return home from your walk with a renewed sense of curiosity for life and that is a good thing!
2. PREPARE FOOD
On the evenings when I’m the most tired after work, the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal. But I know if I take a few minutes to read a recipe and set out the ingredients and supplies, I’m going to keep my brain active. I could easily sit down on the couch with a microwave meal and veg out in front of the TV, and yes, I’ve done that many times. But cooking for myself has taught me about the science of food, keeps my brain actively engaged, and ultimately I eat healthier, more flavorful meals.
Cooking your own meals helps your brain (and your body!) stay healthy. Not only are you saving money because you’re not ordering takeout meals, but it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Need a recipe? Try one of these healthy dinner recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less.
3. DO YOUR CHORES
Mowing the overgrown lawn, doing laundry or cleaning a room of your home are not necessarily fun activities, but completing these tasks are a necessity and they keep you burning calories and moving! Imagine how rewarding you’ll feel once you sit down for the day only to realize that your to-do list is accomplished! Tackling those not so fun chores once or twice a week after work will afford you more discretionary time to enjoy yourself.
Need inspiration? Check out this household cleaning checklist.
There ya have it – a solid kick in the pants to keep you motivated! What activities make you feel alive even after a long day at work? Tell me in the comments below!