With so much focus on fitness in modern culture, it's easy to feel like you're lagging behind sometimes. If you aren't making the 5:00 a.m. spin class or the latest fitness bootcamp, can you still be considered fit? Learning the signs you're actually in shape, even if you don't work out that much, can be comforting. You might be incorporating exercise into your daily routine without even noticing.
Although many people rely on regular gym trips or workout plans to maintain fitness levels, there are endless ways to stay healthy and fit with daily activities. Getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week is the essential goal, according to the Mayo Clinic. This may sound like a lot, but if you count all the time your spend walking the dog and chasing your kids around, it can add up in a hurry. Hey, even climbing the stairs to your home or tidying the lawn counts as exercise.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your health and fitness, speak to your doctor at once. There's no substitute for professional advice and examination. But if you generally feel healthy and energized through the day, then it's likely you're in good shape already.
1. You Walk A Lot
Walking to work or completing a lot of errands by foot can keep a person pretty fit. In general, walking is an excellent form of exercise, as long as it's done consistently and at a brisk pace, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, using fitness trackers or phone health apps to monitor your movement can add motivation.
2. Your Posture Is Excellent
Did adults constantly bug you to sit up straight when you were a kid? They had your best intentions in mind. Proper posture tends to indicate strong core and lower leg muscles, as well as a good sense of balance, according to Harvard Health Publications. Standing or sitting up straight does take some muscular strength and control.
3. You're Functionally Fit
Many activities in daily life require some fitness. If you have the stamina to knock out several errands in one afternoon, tote home bags of heavy groceries, and mow the lawn, then you're in pretty great shape. Hey, even lifting a jug of detergent takes some muscle.
4. You Feel Mentally Sharp
How do you feel most days? Fit people tend to feel awake, energized, and productive, according to HuffPost. If you're sharp and ready to rock most mornings, then you might be getting enough exercise already.
5. Your Job Is Physically Active
Sure, personal trainers and fitness instructors probably get plenty of on-the-job workouts. But lots of professions require physical activity, including waitstaff and plant nursery workers, according to Business Insider. These jobs tend to keep you moving.
6. Your Health Stats Are Great
One of the main reasons people get in shape is to boost their health. But if your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health stats are in good standing, then you're probably pretty fit. Of course, if anything about your health causes concern, then don't hesitate to chat with your doctor for advice.
7. You Take The Stairs
Taking the stairs is a healthy habit that can pay off over time. In fact, stair climbing can count toward a person's 30 minutes recommended daily activity, and its effects can be accumulated throughout the day, according to Duke Human Resources. Having to climb stairs in your home or apartment can be a source of hidden exercise.
8. You Enjoy Active Hobbies
Don't discount your downtime. Hiking, dancing, or even exploring your city on foot all count as physical activity. If you regularly decide to kayak or play frisbee golf on the weekend, you're already in the fitness mindset.
9. You Work On Your Home
Getting in shape doesn't have to involve leaving home. Weekend warriors know that completing your own home repairs, or even repainting a room, takes a lot of stamina. (That roller brush requires core strength, right?) Plus, if you can garden for hours at a time, or even get into deep cleaning the kitchen, you're likely fit. Maintaining a home space can be quite the workout on its own.
10. You're Chasing Kids Around
Children have endless energy, and their caretakers have to keep up. If you regularly spend time chasing your kids around a playground, or enjoying a bit of roughhousing, then appreciate these abilities. This kind of play takes some serious stamina, strength, and coordination.
11. You Play An Instrument
A violinist friend of mine once remarked that all musicians are athletes, because of the physical effort required to play most instruments. So if you're regularly drumming or playing the double bass, just think about all the movement and strength your activities require. Maybe you've been getting pumped from your bow all along.
12. You Have A Dog
Caring for a dog can be great for your health. In fact, dog owners are 34 percent more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week, according to a study from Michigan State University. Chances are, just making sure your fur baby gets enough exercise keeps you fit, too.
13. You Move Around All Day
If you've never liked sitting still, then maybe you were ahead of the curve health-wise. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to health problems, including serious illnesses, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Even spending a couple hours on your feet during an average workday can have positive impacts on your health. Essentially, as long as you're getting some activity every day, you're probably in better health than you thought.