I was a bit of recluse bookworm through high school, but once I reached college I joined my college rowing team and I haven’t stopped moving since. Moving every day is vital to our health. We all know this, but sometimes it can be a challenge to fit it into our busy schedules. When we were kids, we couldn’t stop moving and we lost track of time having so much fun. As we became adults, movement became exercise and exercise became a scheduled chore. But as our lives become more automated and jampacked, we are moving less and less. In the time of next-day delivery, it’s increasingly imperative to ensure that we include daily movement to reap all the benefits of physical activity.
To no one’s surprise, the benefits of daily movement include building muscles, strengthening our bones, building our joint strength, improving our cognition, improving heart health, and expanding our cardiorespiratory endurance. Movement can also clear our minds, make us feel empowered, release anxiety, boost our feelings of happiness, increase our energy, and connect us to the people and environment around us.
Now, let’s not think of movement as workouts or going to the gym (going to the gym is great but let’s think outside the box here). And let’s not think of it as losing weight, burning calories, bulking up, or fitting into jeans. Whether our movement includes a few days a week hitting the gym, we want to start incorporating more movement throughout every day. It can be both structured and unstructured. The more we move each day, the better we feel!
So, how do we include daily movement? There are million little ways. Do whatever brings you joy! The more fun we have moving, the more often we will incorporate it. Remember when Phoebe taught Rachel how to have fun running on “Friends” in season six? That is what we are going for here!
Here are some ideas:
- Dance around the house to your favorite music while putting away the laundry or cleaning up.
- Get on all fours playing with your human kids and furry kids.
- Try something new…spenga, capoeira, hot yoga, krav maga.
- Walk and then walk some more, around the block, out in nature, on a track, around a museum.
- Play some frisbee golf…you’ll end up walking so much!
- What closet is that Wii Fit in? Get it out and dust it off!
- Play like a kid … cartwheels, somersaults, tree climbing.
- YouTube dance follow-along.
- Gentle yoga.
- Try a new balancing move.
- Stretch outside, stretch while watching your fav show, while standing in the line at Starbucks, anywhere!
- Get in there and play with your kids at all those indoor and outdoor playgrounds (recently I played at KidSpace with my five nephews for a solid two hours and was a sweaty mess by then end…and I had a blast!).
I hope this list inspires you to get moving! These days I am working on my handstand, figuring out why I can do a cartwheel on one side but not the other, primal movements, slacklining, and progressing my pancake stretch. Feel free to make your own list of activities and movements that you know you enjoy or that you want to try. When you’re lacking inspiration or maybe stuck inside because of a pandemic, you can reference your list. Any way you increase your activity level will improve your health!
If you have any questions about moving more, talk to your doctor.