The majority of us do not get enough movement in our day, and our bodies are designed to move. Did you know that many Americans sit for more than 13 hours out of their day? That is a whole lot of sitting and a whole little bit of movement. Many people think that movement has to be exercise, but there are all sorts of different ways to add more movement into our day to day activity.
There are so many more benefits to movement than just burning calories.
- Improved sleep quality – Having better sleep means you are more rested and have more energy to do more things throughout the day.
- Improved mental Clarity -You may notice after lunch, you are feeling foggy and then you go for a 5 minute walk and it clears your head and gets you ready to go for the rest of the day? That is because your movement is getting the blood pumping and it can help clear the brain a little bit.
- Calming the nervous system – Doing simple stretches, walking and gentle movements can have a calming effect on our nervous system.
- Release of happy hormones – When we exercise, we release endorphins. These hormones help to make us feel happy. If you are feeling in a funk, moving around a bit can help release those endorphins and improve your mood.
- Releases muscle tension – if you are in a static position for a long period of time, your body will tend to tense up. Moving around can release some of that muscle tension
Here are some simple ideas to add more movement into your day:
- Park in the furthest spot away from the grocery store or shopping mall, so you have to walk more to get into the store.
- When you are in the grocery store or mall, do a lap around the entire store or mall before you start to actually go into the aisles or stores to get what you need.
- If you work in a building that has multiple floors, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Instead of sitting down to watch TV after dinner, take 10 minutes to walk in the neighborhood, bonus points if you bring your family along.
- If you have kids, go outside and play with them. Go play in the snow, go sledding or ice skating in the winter or hiking in the summertime.
- Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, meet them for a walk instead or meet them for coffee and walk with your coffee.
- Anytime before you go to sit down, do 10 squats or do 10 wall push ups against the wall.
- Practice getting up and down from the floor, if this is something you are unable to do, you might want to partner with a physical therapist to help improve your ability to get up and down from the floor.
There are many more ways to start to introduce more movement into your day, because there’s so many benefits to movement. Movement is medicine and movement is life. So let’s find ways to introduce it more into our day.