This months challenge is to get your body moving consistently throughout the ENTIRE day. This challenge is for those of you who are stuck in front of the computer, or perhaps you are moving throughout your work day, but your bodies biomechanics are put at risk. This challenge is also for those of us who find it tricky to get into a regular exercise routine or are wanting to add some extra movement into the week.
Getting motivated to move is half the battle, after that, you need to figure out HOW to move! There are some great tricks out there from the Fitbit to phone apps, however this Challenge will keep it simple and hopefully suggest some user-friendly tips that you can incorporate into your day.
Stretching is going to be the key to movement for many of us. Sometimes, its not just the stretching, but moving our joints through their entire range of motion that will provide enough movement to relieve muscle tension. Increasing your heart rate is also another factor in movement. Walking, biking, running. Taking the stairs, jumping, or dancing. Whatever works for you to get moving is the right move. Be patient with yourself as you find the right routine for you and before you know it, you will be incorporating movement into your life on a regular basis.
TOP TEN TIPS
1) Offer your body a big stretch soon after you wake up. Fingertips to the ceiling, standing-on-your-tippy-toes type of stretch. Let your body move into those tight areas, let out a yawn, and feel the blood start to circulate. Now thats a great way to start the day!
2) If you are a morning person, and are able to juggle it with your schedule, plan to get in a good workout before your day begins. This is beneficial on many levels, mostly that your number-one workout is done! You will also start the day off with an increased metabolism, a positive feeling towards food and increased energy.
3) Choose to bike/walk/run when available. If possible, be active on your way to work. If you can, walk, run or ride your bike as many days as possible. If you need to drive or take the bus, consider parking a few blocks away or getting off a few stops early so you can walk the rest of the way to work.
4) ALWAYS choose the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator!! Always.
5) Break up your day into 1 hour segments (even half hour segments!!). Each hour should be punctuated with a brief stretch (see tip number 1) or a light walk/run/stair climb. 10-30 jumping jacks gets your joints moving and your heart pumping.
6) SET AN ALARM! And I don’t mean those pesky phone alarms or computer alarms that can easily be turned off and ignored. Purchase (a cheap), annoying timer that makes you jump out of your skin when it goes off, preferably an alarm that won’t stop until you get up and stop it! Now place it across the room and set it for 60 minutes. Done.
7) For those of you that don’t get regular breaks throughout your work day, say, in a 12 hour shift (nurses!) then it is even more important that you take a minute to give yourself regular stretch breaks. You may need to resort to a watch alarm, but DON’T ignore it. After all, if you can’t take care of yourself, how will you take care of others….
8) Throughout the week, make a choice to walk instead of take the car. Need milk? Walk to the corner grocery store instead of drive. If you pick the kids up from school, park 10 minutes away from the school. If you have several errands to do in close proximity, consider parking in one spot and walking to all the stores – bring a back pack if it involves bulkier purchases.
9) See the Monthly Challenge – Sun Salutations! Introduce daily stretches to your day!
10) As Nike has so aptly put it… JUST DO IT. Seriously. Movement doesn’t have to be a full-scale commitment to BootCamp 101 or training for the next marathon. Movement just means making the commitment to move your body throughout the entire day. At least every hour. For a few minutes. Stretch, squat, jump, plank. Have a dance-off with your kids or in the privacy of your room! Whatever it is that changes your chronic postural habits. Just Do It.
While there may be information related to certain medical conditions and their treatment on this website, please consult your doctor or other healthcare professional to determine if a treatment described in the website is appropriate for you.
Kirsten Hammond is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Evolutions Massage Therapy Clinic- Saanich, BC & Sidney, BC & Brentwood Bay, BC