*Warning: if you think you are doing a pretty job of working out and staying healthy there may be some bubble bursting here.

Many of you probably wake up; you may go for a run or take a spin class, shower and go on with the rest of your day. The problem, which may well hold the difference between a plateau and losing weight, lies in what happens next. Some of you may head to the office; others run errands or possibly kill some time on the computer. Whatever you do, most of you are primarily sedentary, tush to chair for the remainder of the day. I call this time OTID. OTID is my abbreviation for that after gym time and stands for the Other Twenty-three hours In the Day. Sure, for some of the OTID you are sleeping and it’s impossible to be in constant motion but let’s be honest, for me and probably for you there’s plenty of room for improvement. Let’s make use of the OTID.

There is some research to back this all up. Studies on fidgeters show fidgeters tend to be thinner than non-fidgeters but we’re not all going to do a toe-tapping tango all day long. Here are some suggestions for your OTID:

1. Schlep– where would we be without Yiddish? Kidding aside, you want to be strategic and do your schlepping yourself versus letting others help. This can be carrying your own groceries (see the skinny mule in the photo above), doing some or all of your own housework (befriend the vacuum people) or picking up food versus having it delivered.

2. Walk– now you may not necessarily have the time to walk everywhere in your day, who does? Consider having a mobile meeting, I find a lot of colleagues like to be active and we walk and talk versus sitting in the office. After dinner is another under-utilized time for activity (and not just that kind of activity). Maybe you go for a walk late in the day. Or, if you’re working, just use part of your lunch hour and get some fresh air. Start with 5 minutes of walking every day this week.

3. TV– we all watch too much and reading isn’t much better for these purposes. Limit yourself to 1 hour of horizontal TV viewing a day. DVR if you must and cram that hour. After an hour if you’re still watching do some push-ups or crunches on commercials, grab a pair of free weights or go to the gym in the evening and work out while you watch.

I could go on and on cooking, playing sports with your children, pacing while you’re on the phone and many other ways to use your OTID well. Don’t dismiss this as meaningless because these calories can add up and may even surpass the ones you burn at the gym. I am actually on a unicycle as I type this post, how’s that for efficient OTID?

How are you going to maximize your OTID today? Comment/give yourself a goal and then check back.


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