We believe that being the best version of yourself is not just about the food we all eat, but sleep, movement and relaxation all have their role.
In this day and age, it’s easy to glide through a whole day sitting in various positions – moving from laptop to phone to car to sofa. It simply isn’t a necessity to be physically active any more. Living in the modern era means we have to be more proactive and more creative when it comes to moving more.
Read on to find out how you can tweak your everyday life to do just that and we are not just telling you to get to the gym - Amy hates the gym!
Movement? You mean exercise, right? Wrong…
We’re not going to tell you how to fit three yoga sessions, four spin classes and five runs into every week! We want you to open your mind to the possibility of using your body in the natural way it was intended. Centuries ago we had no choice but to be physically active. Whether it was building a shelter, carrying logs and materials, persistence hunting and tracking or simply gathering vegetables and fruits – our ancestors had no choice but to exercise their bodies every single day. These days, there’s a machine that’ll do almost every task imaginable for us, and you can’t expect to be healthy if your daily movement amounts to pushing their buttons and not much more! Alas, button on the boot of car!
I have no desire to look like a Greek God(dess), is movement really for me?!
YES! Moving your body has far wider benefits than just helping you to look good, really! If bubble-butts and washboard abs aren’t for you, you still need to be active to maintain overall health. Studies have shown that people who are physically active for just 30 minutes each day are more likely to live longer, less likely to develop chronic health conditions and are proven to be happier 😊 What’s not to love?
Eight Ways to Incorporate More Movement into your Everyday Routine
- Cook Meals from Fresh
Cooking food from fresh is a win-win scenario – helping you to move more and eat healthier. Buy fresh ingredients and follow recipes to avoid processed foods, nasty additives and harmful preservatives. Using fresh produce encourages you to shop more frequently, reducing food waste with the added benefit of moving more as we walk to and from the shops. When preparing meals from scratch you’ll find your self chopping, stirring, kneading and – hey presto – moving! Crank it up a notch with some primal cooking tools such as a cleaver or mortar and pestle to really get active in the kitchen. These heavy tools are designed to help with food prep using just their weight and brute human force! So ditch the blender – if you can do it with your own hands, get stuck in!
- Get Animalistic
Whether you have a pet dog, cat, rabbit or horse, exercising with your animals is a great way to move more. The responsibility of caring for an animal leaves you with no choice but to exercise – whether that’s playing with your cat, riding your horse or walking your dog. Not only is this a good way to unwind and reconnect with nature, but research has also shown that pet-play releases serotonin and oxytocin in the brain – the “feel-good” hormones which create the feeling of happiness. What’s more, frolicking with your animals in their natural environment is a great way to get some fresh air in the great outdoors.
- Take the Long way to the Loo
Yes, the loo! We think moving more is all about little life hacks which are easily prompted by your normal daily activities. Because we all need to toddle to the toilet many times each day, committing to using loos which are further away is a good way to go the distance. Try and see if you can find facilities that are up or down the stairs from where you are based to literally go the extra mile! Tip: make sure you’re getting enough water and saving the environment at the same time with a reusable water bottle.
- Plan your Parking
Whether you’re driving or cycling to work, parking a short distance further from your office base is a great way to promote more movement. Studies have shown that walking for just 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels and prevent obesity. Walking also has the added benefit of connecting us with other humans, helping us to be more social and remove the comfort blanket of an anonymised vehicle. What’s more, you could find that you can keep your own parking space, save money on costs and avoid those pesky scratches that seem to appear whenever you leave your car or bike somewhere busy!
- Play Time
So, we’ve established that there’s lots of clever machines that can do all of our boring jobs for us. But in the hype of technological advancement we may have lost our connection with play as well. The truth is, if someone asked you what games you played they’d probably expect you to reel off a list of computer games. The World Health Organisation has identified video games as being a key contributor to obesity in the developed world, with hours spent playing them having a strong correlation with physical inactivity. Why not put down the controller and grab a frisbee, boomerang, slingshot or bow and arrow for some outdoor play that’ll keep you moving.
- Boost your Break Time
I don’t know about you but our lunch breaks used to be 25% eating and 75% discussing office politics!
Why not use this time to have a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air? Whether you have an hour or half an hour’s break, getting out at midday is a great way to get outdoors, move more and help set your circadian rhythm. Even if you only have time for a short stroll, getting off your glutes will protect you against the harm of sitting for long periods of time. Sitting for an extensive time slows your digestion and metabolism, causes blood-flow to become sluggish and over time can damage your cardiovascular system. A midday stretch of the legs could be just the thing you need to steer clear of this sedentary sadness and encouraging colleagues to join you means you can exercise and gossip at the same time!
- Take the stairs
In a modern world with a continuously growing population there is one thing that could work to your move-more advantage – stairs! Planet Earth has more people and less land than ever, so there’s only one direction to build in, upwards. And with taller buildings comes your own office exercise equipment, the real-life stepping machine! Taking the stairs over the elevator is good for building leg muscle, firming the buttocks and promoting cardiovascular health. Coming down the stairs promotes the activity of osteoclasts and osteoblasts – bone cells which break down bone tissue, in order to rebuild it and create stronger bones. It also helps to loosen joints and reduce inflammation – and it’s easier than going up 😉
- Watch the Office Clock
OK, so this is one thing you may be doing already! Keeping an eye on the clock can be a good way of reminding you of just how long you have been sat in one position. If you’re engrossed in your work it’s easy to wonder where the day has gone when you finally get out of the zone. But all of these sitting hours are bad for metabolism and circulation. Getting out of you chair and doing a different task each hour could really help to avoid these effects. With the average person in the UK working 6.8 hours per day, that’s six opportunities to get up and get that blood flowing. Some clever entrepreneurs have even invented quirky equipment to help you deskercise – that’s desk and exercise, you get it, right? But even without these, venturing to the printer, for a glass of water or simply up and down the length of the corridor will help your body to get out of sit-mode.
We hope we’ve opened your eyes to the many opportunities around you to move more each day.
Many people fail in their efforts to be a healthier person by over-committing to exhaustive and unrealistic exercise regimes.
Simply put, we need to be proactive in creating physical activity, in a world where technology has removed the necessity to move.
A big part of the battle is incorporating movement into our everyday lives – as opposed to putting time aside for exercise. We hope that these tips have given you some ideas of just how to do that and don't beat yourself up about trying to get to the gym 5 times a week!
Be the best version of yourself.. for you that might mean a 5 minute walk a day is the first step .. and guess what .. that's perfect!