The word “exercise” can often stress people out.  If you don’t make it to the gym or you weren’t able to go for a run or a bike ride, you can get down because you weren’t able to “exercise” today, and therefore, you let yourself down.  What if instead of thinking about exercising in a specific setting, we just focused on moving our bodies?  Think about the way children play and act throughout the day.  They are constantly on the move.  Rarely do you need to ask them to exercise.  They typically just start to run to release energy or dance around.  If you shift your mindset a little bit and focus on movement and fun ways to release energy, you may have more motivation to engage in non-sedentary activities that can bring about tremendous benefits.

Here are some types of movement that will exercise your brain and body:

  • Walking the dog
  • Playing with kids outside
  • Gardening
  • Stretching
  • Mopping or vacuuming
  • Dancing as you cook
  • Biking to grab groceries
  • Walking with a colleague between conference calls
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator

Studied benefits of movement include:

  • Improves mood – endorphins are released with gentle exercise and movement
  • Reduces stress – helps to balance hormones
  • Boosts energy
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Reduces inflammatory markers (when not done in excess)
  • Builds bone – weight bearing exercises can be bone building
  • Strengthens the heart – reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • Builds confidence

Prior to the industrial revolution, people had to move all throughout the day out of necessity.  Today’s technology allows us to sit all day long which can have some unfortunate consequences.  So, what do you do if you are required to be in an office setting all day?

Here are tips to help you get up and move throughout the day:

  • Set a movement timer.  We are attached to our phones and computers, so let’s utilize them for good.  Set a timer every hour to get up and move.  This could be a trip down the stairs and right back up.  It could be walking to the end of the hallway and back – whatever route you choose, just set the timer and go!
  • Use a standing or walking desk.  Many companies are open to open to this idea as a way to motivate their team members.  Don’t be afraid to ask the boss!
  • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair.  This is a total ab workout.  It really engages your core and it can be fun!
  • Sit on the floor!  If you are working from home, choose to sit on the floor where you can stretch and move around instead of sitting in one position in a chair.
  • Make movement a priority – just as you schedule and prioritize your tasks, make movement a “to-do” throughout the day.

Hopefully this information will help to shift your mindset so that you can put in some valuable time for movement and reap the tremendous benefits!