Wish you could have better sleep, more energy, less stress, and a calmer, more positive mind?
Wondering how to keep off the extra weight as you get older?
I have the simplest solution ever: MOVE MORE. That’s it! I know, it sounds too simple to actually work, but fitting more movement into your day is THE KEY to feeling lighter, leaner, and more energetic. You can quickly and easily MOVE MORE by “amping up” your natural movement habits, taking multiple short movement/stretching breaks, and adding a few mini exercise sessions to your day.
As my dad always says, “energy begets energy,” and it’s so true. If you think you’re too tired to exercise, you’re wrong. Get moving and you’ll have more energy! If you think you’re too busy to take a mini-movement break, you’re wrong again! A short sweat session (or just a stretch break) will clear your mind and make you more productive at home and at work.
Physiologically, movement causes your skeletal muscles to contract and relax and makes your heart work harder (in a good way). The pumping action of your heart and the alternating contraction and relaxation of your skeletal muscles around your blood vessels improves circulation THROUGHOUT YOUR BODY. Improved circulation means improved oxygenation and nutrient flow to every single cell in your body as well as to your BRAIN. You can change brain activation (and function) simply by moving your body!
Have I sold you on the benefits of moving more? It’s so simple, yet something that many of us have to WORK to do, since modern life is so sedentary.
The following are some of my favorite ways to move more throughout the day:
- Instead of vegging out on a couch, sit cross-legged on the ground or — if that’s not comfy — sit on the edge of a folded blanket or on a yoga bolster. When you do this, you’ll naturally engage your core by sitting without the squishy, cushy support of a couch. You’ll also have to get DOWN to the floor (and then back up again when you’re done). That’s more movement right there!
- For bonus points, sit in a deep squat like this (a great way to fold laundry):
- When you’re cleaning, REALLY CLEAN! Humans were meant to lift heavy things; to push and pull and drag and haul. On your next vacuuming day, move furniture around while cleaning floors. Have you ever looked behind your couch and almost screamed due to the size of the dust bunnies? Watch out, bunnies. Get under the couch, behind the potted plants, and between the railings. Scorch calories, increase bone density by taxing your muscles, and come away with a squeaky clean house. (Remember to use proper body mechanics when lifting and “zip up” when shoving things around!!!)
- Instead of one long daily walk, break it up into two or three shorter walks. Think an AM “wake up” walk, a lunch break “power walk” to recharge your batteries, and a short stroll around the block after dinner to wind down and get ready for bed.
- Stretch more! If you don’t know about my 30-30 rule, you can read more about it here. Essentially, every 30 minutes you spend in one position (i.e. hunched over your computer), spend 30 seconds stretching in the opposite direction (i.e. standing up and clasping your hands behind your back to stretch out your chest). You can also do my hands-behind-head hip circles. They feel so good!
The following videos show quick mini-workouts that can help you fit more movement into your day.
No need to change into special workout clothes, just wear whatever you’re wearing and move your body for a few minutes! If you’re at work, close your office door or go into the staff break room. Better yet — since there’s strength in numbers — get a friend/co-worker to join you so you don’t feel like a weirdo when someone walks in on you!
The most important part is to have fun, to keep it brief, and to FEEL GOOD. Mark my words, you WILL FIND that energy begets energy and soon you’ll be sneaking mini movement breaks into your day, every day. Move more, feel better, think better, live longer!