Did you know that the average person walks between 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day? That's not much if you think about it. As a society, we are more sedentary than ever and our health is suffering as a result. Whether it be depression, anxiety, illness, soreness, or any other ailment/health condition, lack of movement has taken over and our bodies are paying the price.
The thing is though friends...we were designed to move. It's in our DNA. As author Kelly McGonical writes about in her book Joy of Movement (which is awesome btw, a whole other blog post to come once I'm done reading) that humans have been moving and finding joy in that movement for decades. McGonical sights an example of the Hazda tribe in Africa. This group spends day after day hunting and foraging for food to provide for their families. They move all day to source food to feed their loved ones. As a result they get in several hours of light to moderate activity each day. Not to mention that these efforts give them a sense of pride, accomplishment and pure joy. Movement has allowed them to find the sustenance to survive. To top it off, as a culture, the Hazda have tremendous heart health and virtually no anxiety or depression. McGonical cannot say for sure whether that is tied back to daily movement, but it seems pretty likely.
My mantra for 2020 is helping others find the joy in movement. It's a huge passion for me and one that I aim to spread ongoing with my fitness business. It's proven that people are happier when they are active throughout the day. I know that I am!
But, what if you don't currently have a fitness routine? How are you expected to find the joy in movement when you aren't moving to begin with? I get it. It's hard to find the joy when the idea of hitting the gym or getting off the couch sounds like the farthest idea from fun. But here's the thing, with a little bit of touch love. We have got to get off the couch! We need to move! Our health depends on it!!
To make fitness fun and enjoyable, we need to start with what movement/exercise/fitness means to you. And how you can begin to implement more of it throughout your day. Soooo, that being said, today I'm sharing ten ways to help you to find movement in your day.While not a lot of the content from here on out is going to be mind-blowing, it is all information we (myself included) need to hear every now and again in order to make it habitual in our lives.
My ask of you is to give these suggestions a try implementing one or two of them into your daily routine. By adding more movement in throughout the day you will begin to uncover more joy out of life by virtue of moving your body.
1) Get in those steps. Simple right? And it is! Walk around your neighborhood. Park in the last row so it takes longer to walk to your destination (I know it's cold here in Illinois but bundle up and do it anyway! It's good to get the blood pumping and will actually warm you up!). Take the stairs. Increase your daily movement by getting more foot traffic in throughout the day.
2) Drink all the water. The more you drink, the more trips to the bathroom equals more steps and movement in the day. You're also getting the additonal benefits of keeping yourself hydrated.. This one is a double win!
3) Clean your house. This movement counts as exercise if you ask me! Surely, I'm not the only one who breaks a sweat when they vacuum?! Make several trips to put away the laundry. Make your bed. Dust the furniture. All those mundane chores that you have to do anyway are a perfect yet simple way to move!
4) Have a dance party. We love to do this in our house and it gets everyone including the kids involved. Put on your favorite song and dance like nobody is watching!
5) Take a group exercise class. Sometimes that social enviroment is all we need to help us move. There is literally a group class for everyone. Cycling, aquatics, yoga, kickboxing, HIIT, the list is endless. Find a friend or make a new friend with group fitness. There is power in numbers. Working with others is sometimes all you need to get in that daily movement.
6) Workout while you watch TV. I don't think many of us watch commercials anymore. We start our shows late to fast forward or watch them another time of day altogether. BUT what if we went back to the way things once were. Watch the commercials or don't but instead use that time to move. Do squats for the duration of one commercial then jumping jacks for the next.
7) Set your phone timer to take breaks throughout the day. Get up at least once every one to two hours and move around. Dance, walk to fill your water bottle, or stand and stretch.
8) Help take your movement one step further by joining a StepBet challenge. These are pretty fun and a more competitive way to get in your movement. The cool part is you're only competing with yourself! You buy in to the game and are given a daily step goal for the week. You have to meet your goals week after week for the duration of the game and if you do, you earn your money back. Miss your goals and the money goes into a pot that is then split at the close of the game.
9) Shameless plug, but work out with me! Sorry had to do it! I offer in-home and online personal training plus group fitness classes. I'll help you move in a way that fits your lifestyle, personality and overall fitness goals.
This last one might seem a little out of place but stick with me here...
10) Find a comfortable seated position and focus on your breath. As important as movement is, I find it equally important to pause for a little meditation and breathwork. Take time to calm the central nervous system every now and again by being still and present with yourself. Especially once you start adding more movement, this will be a nice addition to your routine. Know that our heart and lungs are still working. And, if you add some light neck stretches or gentle twists while you breathe your body is still moving.
It goes without saying that this isn't an all encompassing list of ways to get in your daily movement. But, it's a pretty great start. And, gang, the best part of all this is that you have the power to choose! How awesome! You get to pick how you move throughout the day. You get to decide exactly how far back in the lot you want to park. You get to pick the group class you want to take. You get to choose where in the house you want to clean or not. Granted if you work out with me, you don't really get to choose (insert cheesy smile here). But you do get to choose to work out with me and that's pretty fun!
No matter where you are on your fitness journey know that moving is good for your entire body, mind and soul. Start by adding in little ways to get movement in your day. Do this and you will be well on your way to finding the joy in your fitness routine! Whether it feels like it or not, your body actually craves and desires movement. Give it what it needs and it will make you so much happier!