10 Unexpected Ways to Earn PAI

 One of the many things we love about PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) is that anyone can reap the benefits and get healthier without having to subscribe to a specific workout routine.

We’re not exclusively promoting steps, intense activity or any specific exercise routine—we simply want you to do what you love when it is convenient for you. Go about your daily life and see how many PAI points you earn. Ideally, you want to reach 100— studies show reaching 100 means your cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is at a healthy level. The American Heart Association recommends that CRF be a clinical vital sign because it is key to overall heart health and longevity. 


Since PAI scores are customized, reaching 100 will require a different amount of effort for each individual. If you’re already active, you may easily reach 100 PAI on a consistent and regular basis— meaning you are likely heart healthy and have a healthy VO2 max. Conversely, if you’re not active, then earning PAI, at least in the beginning, will be easier. Try walking several times a week, or gardening, or perhaps parking further away from the entrance of stores and speed walking to the entrance. There are many ways to get your heart pumping throughout your daily life that will help you improve your PAI score thereby improving your CRF.


To help get your wheels turning, below are a few activities that could help you earn PAI.


·         TAKE A SPEED WALKING BREAK

Forget grabbing a coffee when that afternoon slump hits. Keep a pair of athletic shoes handy and take a brisk walk around the block to get your blood flowing and heart pumping. You may find that you’re tired because you’ve been sitting for too long. If you are sleep deprived, a short walk can provide an immediate energy boost. And studies show that regular exercise helps to fight exhaustion. Remember to stay hydrated to help fight dehydration which can make you feel more tired. 

·         GET HANDY AROUND THE HOUSE

Home maintenance may not be on most peoples’ lists of fun activities, but it’s something we all do. Plus, doing some of your own home repairs can get your heart pumping and save you some cash. Search the web to find basic home maintenance projects that you can do yourself without hiring a professional. If it’s something that doesn’t require a professional, learn to fix it yourself and earn some PAI in the process. This is a practical way to get moving and you may also find it rewarding to complete home maintenance projects yourself. Some major hardware stores offer classes to teach people how to lay tile, pull up grass to replace it with something “green” or fix leaky faucets.

·         VOLUNTEER IN YOUR COMMUNITY 

Many volunteer assignments require moderate to strenuous activity. Whether you’re sorting cans for a food bank, working in a local community garden, or dishing meals at a local shelter, you can give back while being active and earning PAI. There are many websites where you can find volunteer opportunities. Or, simply go online and search for a cause in your city to find possible vacancies.

·         WALK TO GET GROCERIES 

If you live within walking distance of a grocery store, grab your reusable bags and walk there rather than drive. This is ideal if you need only a few items. You might earn even more PAI if the walk is uphill and likely to give you a better cardio burst. It’s also a great way to shake-up your daily routine and explore your neighborhood on foot. You may be surprised at what you discover when exploring your community on foot. 

·         DO A 5-TO-10 MINUTE WORKOUT BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY

Even just a few minutes of lunges, planks and push-ups is enough to increase your heart rate and help you get closer to achieving your weekly 100. Did you know your heart benefits from earning just 50 PAI points each week? A couple other added benefits: you’ll burn more calories throughout the day if you get your heart pumping early in the morning and getting your blood flowing is naturally energizing.

·         PARK FAR AWAY

Forget circling the parking lot looking for a space that’s close to the entrance of a store. It seems like a minor change (and it is!) but it could pay off in the long run. Get in the habit of parking far away from the entrance and speed walking to the front door. This is a great way to squeeze some heart-pumping activity into everyday errands. Not only could this help you earn more PAI, thereby increasing your heart health, but you’ll be able to find a parking spot right away.

·         TURN ON SOME TUNES 

Music can really influence your mood. Turn on some upbeat music and dance around your house while getting ready in the morning, or create a soothing soundtrack to listen to in the evening while doing a nighttime yoga sequence. Playing some exciting music might put a skip in your step while walking to the bus stop or cleaning up your kitchen after dinner. The right music will certainly put you in a good mood and can help you earn PAI.

·         TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COMMERCIAL BREAKS 

If you, like many people, end the day by watching an episode (or three) of your favorite show, take advantage of commercial breaks by doing exercises from your couch. Try doing push-ups while keeping your feet on the couch and your hands on the ground to increase your range of motion. Do push-ups in a downward dog position to strengthen your shoulders (this is especially helpful for yogis working on handstands). Do deep one-legs squats by resting one leg on the couch and placing the foot of your other leg far enough away from the couch that your knee is directly over your ankle and squat. If your hip flexors are tight, lean forward. 

·         WALK OR BIKE TO WORK 

Maybe you already live in a major city with public transportation, or perhaps you live in a suburban area or even a rural area with limited bus service. If it’s feasible for you, set a goal to walk or bike to work once a month or a couple times each week-- whatever works for your lifestyle and fitness level. If you live in a city, forgo public transit and bike to work to get your heart pumping, or walk the hilly way to work. If you live in a rural or suburban area with bus service, first see if the buses allow bikes inside or have a place to store them while riding the bus. Depending on how far you live from work, you may need to ride the bus part of the way there. Even if you take public transit from a rural area, you’ll likely end up doing a lot of walking and/or biking. It’s not uncommon for people to challenge themselves to bike to work (even from 40 or so miles away!). You’ll earn PAI and feel a great sense of accomplishment before your day has even started. 

·         GET OUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR

If your date night our or after-work happy hours involve sitting at a bar, consider shaking it up and going dancing. Enjoy a cocktail (or not) and boogie down on the dance floor. Have fun showing off your dance moves while earning PAI. 


With PAI, you can go about your day, incorporating small activities into your routine and get heart healthy. 

 

What unexpected activity do you do to earn PAI points?


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