Try the challenge and get inspired by our 15 ways to move throughout your day
I am trying to challenge your beliefs as well as your activity levels. Read on to find out more.
A lot of my clients believe that physical activity only counts if it is either of a certain length of time, intensity or in some way structured. Believe me, this is not true. Every bit of movement you do will add to your health, fitness and mental well being.
When it comes to exercise, everything counts.
If you believe that only certain types of movement count as exercise you will always have an excuse not to do it. No time, no energy, no space, no gym membership…..
Don’t have time? Think again. If you have a minute, you have time.
No space? Your office or kitchen will do.
Challenge your brain to think differently and feel good about every little bit of movement you do. If you do structured exercise and you enjoy it, keep going. It doesn't mean you can't fit in little extra bits during the day though. If you struggle with formal exercise, just start looking at movement in this new way. Everything counts and you can give yourself credit for the smallest and shortest bit of movement. We are all individuals and different types of movement will feel right for different people. What matters is that we move. In whatever way feels good to you.
So here's my challenge for you:
Here are some ideas (inspired by Michelle Segar's brilliant book: No sweat) to get you started:
1. Take the long cut
Don’t walk the shortest route to your destination. Add a little detour and walk through the park,
or explore some streets you don’t know yet.
2. Walk whilst your on the phone
Turn this one into a habit. Always move around when you are on the phone. Up and down the stairs, in circles or whatever takes your fancy.
3. Be active when you are waiting for your children doing their clubs and classes
Instead of sitting around and waiting, get active yourself. Go for a walk, swim or do whatever works for you.
4. Add some active minutes into your work day
Set a timer at your desk and walk up and down the stairs, meet a colleague or just get some fresh air for a few minutes.
5. Meet a friend for a walk rather than a coffee/meal etc.
You could still have a coffee to go....
6. Dance to your favourite tune
Yep, just like in the good old days.
7. Walk during your lunch break
Have your lunch on a park bench or some other pretty outdoor spot.
8. Be active as a family
Schedule some family activities into your weekends. Walking and cycling are the obvious ones but there are lots of other things out there. Try something new like family parkour, roller skating or climbing. Maybe there is something you used to enjoy as a child?
9. Take some active me time
Choose an activity you like and gift it to yourself. Me-time doesn’t have to be about lying on the sofa or attending a day-spa.
10. Date night?
Why not walk to the restaurant, cinema etc
11. Get off the bus early
...or park further away.
12. Have a walking Meeting
Suggest to your colleagues to have a walking meeting. It will benefit everybody and you’ll be surprised how much more productive these can be.
13. Take the stairs
This is not exactly new advice but it works. Skip the lift or escalators and walk instead.
14. Do some housework... or gardening
I have found that looking at housework in this new way (it’s an opportunity to move!) makes me feel less resistant towards it.
15. Do a one minute workout, anything you like
Run on the spot, do some squats or jumping jacks, wiggle your toes....
You'll find the more you move, the more your body will ask for it and you'll automatically start fitting in extra physical activity every day.
Opportunities to move
Deciding to believe that everything counts can be the beginning of building consistent daily movement that you can immediately benefit from.
Remember, opportunities to move are YOUR choices. Anything and everything counts. Choose the ones you enjoy most. You are a lot more likely to repeat an activity if it is enjoyable.
Try and look at these opportunities as special times, gift yourself those moments.
My name is Julia and I am a personal trainer and nutrition coach in Edinburgh.