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How to Increase Your Movement

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

A one-hour workout is 4 percent of your day. That's the saying that is supposed to remind us not to skip working out, that it's no big deal to give up that much of your day. It should also remind us that we have a big chunk of the day after that and we can't just spend it sitting. An hour workout and then sitting all day is better than no workout and sitting all day, but is it enough? Anyone with a fitness tracker knows that it isn't, those things buzz at you all day to move.

Your movement the rest of the day does not have to be anything crazy, just purposeful. If you have a dog, maybe try two short walks, spread out, instead of one longer one. If you don't have a dog, you still need to be walked! Those of you working from home potentially have more opportunities for that, but even if not, one walk before work and one after would be great.

A brisk 15 minutes can do wonders for you. You could burn up to 100 calories and re-energize your body and your mind. Taking a quick walk before dinner can be a great way to get the family (and metabolism) moving before excuses have time to kick in. Make a family goal to walk a certain amount of miles in a month. Start small, like 20 miles, just to see how it feels.

Also... during spring you never know what the outdoor walking conditions may look like. This will allow for days off so you are at a lower risk of scrapping the whole thing because you missed a day while allowing you to beat your goal.

Having a purposeful goal to accomplish throughout the day can be very helpful. For April, make an exercise goal for each week. Make them things that can be broken up into small quantities during the day to give you an excuse to get up. The first week, try for 100 situps a day. Week two, do 100 squats a day. Week hour plank during the week.

That breaks down to eight and a half minutes a day that you can spread throughout. Week four, amp it up with 50 burpees or squat jumps each day. Not only will it give you a reason to move all day, but it also gives you a daily accomplishment to feel great about. Those little things add up. Just like snack breaks! If you are spending your free time working on these, you may find yourself reaching into the snack cabinet or candy dish less.

How do you unwind before bed? A glass of wine? Your favorite Tv show, or scrolling on your phone? What if you spent 20 or 30 minutes before bed doing some yoga or stretching? Not only would you be sneaking in some extra movement, but you would also save yourself the calories of the wine, the light of the device and truly relax your body.

If you did that big-one hour workout, it's likely you didn't get the chance to stretch each muscle that you used. Taking the time to do that can help with your performance in future workouts. Yoga or even just downtime with deep #breathing can lower your heart rate, preparing you for better sleep. When you wake up rested, you have more energy to move the next day. It's a fabulous cycle.

So whatever you do today, make sure you move more. Your movement can be slow or fast, high intensity or low, simple or complex, you will benefit.

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