How do you move your body on a daily basis? Do you have room to add more activity in your day?
Life can be a balancing act. When things get busy, regular exercise sometimes has a way of ending up on bottom of the priority list. Having some quick ideas to add more movement in your day can make a world of difference. Here are five simple ideas and tricks to make moving easier.
Movement Tip #1: Multi-task
Most of us have a number of routines in place, even if we don’t think we do. Things like brushing our teeth, bathing, driving to work – they all just sort of happen and don’t require a lot of thought or planning. Why not multi-task where we can, and add in a bit of movement to spice up our regular routines.
Some ideas: Do squats or standing lunges while you brush your teeth, stretch your muscles while you have a shower or bath, contract your abs and buttocks during you commute to work, do calf raises while you wash the dishes, enjoy a walk on your lunch break. You get the idea. These are just a few of the many possible ways you can get creative and move while you go about your day. You could skip to work or school too if you really wanted to add some fun and freedom into the mix. Make it be whatever works for you and think outside of the box. Exercise doesn’t have to be reserved for the gym.
Movement Tip #2: Set a Reminder
I love setting reminders on my phone. I have one that comes up hourly to drink up and enjoy a glass of water. It might be fun to set a reminder to have a spontaneous dance party with yourself (no matter where you are), or to get up and jog on the spot, stretch your muscles, or hop on one foot.
Setting reminders is yours by design. You could create reminders using technology. You could also elicit the help of a friend who will hold you accountable and check in to remind you what you said was important.
The idea is to plan a bit ahead so you don’t have to think about it. All you need to do is be brave enough to follow through – you never know, you may start a movement through your movement!
Movement Tip #3: Visualization
Never underestimate the power of visualization. I love to visualize while I am running or exercising. I imagine how good it feels to be in a fit body. Sometimes I think about an upcoming holiday or event, and I picture myself there feeling awesome in my body and confident that I am healthy and strong.
When we put our focus on what we do want to feel like, it has a way of creating that feeling in the moment. This is such a better alternative than beating up on ourselves for not looking or feeling a certain way. Imagining what we want to feel like, has a way of opening up our minds to the idea that it is possible and attainable. It also helps us stay more accountable because we are more apt to make choices that are in line with this end feeling we have connected with.
Some ideas for using visualization to move more: Before you drift off to sleep, imagine how good it will feel to lace up your shoes in the morning and get some exercise. Spend a few minutes each day visualizing so it becomes a habit. Imagine yourself feeling really great in your body while you are moving, or picture yourself doing something you love while feeling really healthy and strong.
Have some fun with this practice, and see what might be stirred up within you by visualizing how you most want to feel in your body.
Movement Tip #4: Get More Sleep
A good night’s sleep makes everything feel better. When we get adequate sleep on a regular basis, we end up having more energy and motivation. After a good night sleep, it is so much easier to lace up our shoes and get moving. This is a simple fix that’s easy to apply. If we want to have more pep in our step, then we need to know when to say goodnight and stick to a regular routine of getting enough pillow time.
Some tips for getting enough sleep: Set an alarm for bedtime. So often, we are programmed to set an alarm to wake up. Why not set an alarm that signals it’s time for sleep. Remove distractions from the bedroom. Instead of using your smart phone as an alarm, invest in a good old fashion alarm clock. That way you won’t be tempted to use your phone for other things (email, web browsing, social media etc.). It’s the ‘out of sight out of mind’ rule in action.
Sleep is the foundation for setting ourselves up to feel good. Get back to basics and see how you feel after several nights in a row of solid, restful sleep. After being recharged, you may be surprised by how natural it feels to get moving.
Movement Tip #5: Set an Intention
Setting an intention to do something, is often the first step to getting there. With clear intention comes direction. We can use our intention as a tool to add more movement in our day. It’s as simple as waking up in the morning and consciously setting an intention to move more. We might want to write a few ideas in the morning of how will add in more activity, and set our intention that way. Or perhaps it may work best to say it aloud, or go back to creating reminders and incorporate our intention into the plan.
Again, this comes back to what we put our focus on. When we are focused on an intention of moving more throughout the day, we are more likely to choose options that will result in doing just that. Like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Having a business meeting combined with a walk. Getting up for more stretch breaks throughout the day. Getting up in the morning and starting the day off with exercise.
Be sure to create intentions that are your own and personally meaningful, so you are more likely to stick to them. Give it a try and see what might change when you set regular intentions to move in a way that feels right for you.