Let’s talk about how to move more
Anyone who knows me personally knows how hard it is for me to stay still for more than 30 minutes at a time. I’m either getting up to refill my water, go to the bathroom, or get a snack. I get so antsy sitting still that I look for any excuse to get up and move a bit. Poor Eric can’t make it through a movie without me pausing it at least once. These small movements (called NEAT) add up! I know not everyone naturally wants to move their body like me, so I wanted to share tips for adding more movement to your day.
All it really takes is 5 minutes or less! In grad school, one of my professors called these 5 minute bouts of activity ‘brain breaks’. When he could tell the class was starting to lose their attention towards the lecture, he would have us get up and do an exercise to perk us back up. This worked wonders for re-grabbing our attention and often times, making us laugh at some of the silly exercises we had to do.
In reality, though, no matter how silly or serious, these breaks to move your body can work wonders for providing that energy boost, breaking up the work day, and adding easy and quick bouts of exercise to your day!
In theory this is great and everyone would acknowledge the ease and benefits of taking 5 minutes every hour to move. This isn’t my first rodeo though and I am aware that knowing you should do something does not always equal actually doing it.
Start Habit Stacking
So how do you even start? I’m glad you asked! My answer in simple terms is this: habit stacking. This means taking a already formed habit and adding on to it. A simple example would be that every time you get up from your desk to go to the bathroom (or really any reason), you do 20 jumping jacks or jog in place for 30 seconds.
Easy enough right? The point is that you start to associate the new habit (in this case, mini bouts of exercise) with an already formed habit. By doing this, you don’t have to work up the extra drive and motivation it takes to exercise for an hour every day.
Eventually you can build on this concept to work harder and reach towards bigger movement goals. Starting by adding more movement to your day allows you to do something to get you there. You would be surprised how much extra activity this could add to your day. Ultimately, moving forward towards a goal or habit – no matter the speed – is better than standing still.
So find a habit that you already do throughout the day and associate it with a couple of minutes of moving your body. Then work on building on that habit of moving and smile at the progress you are making!