Dorene from Fusion Pilates Asheville gives some tips on how to integrate movement into your daily life.
No Time to Exercise? Integrate Movement into Daily Life.
Who came up with the rule that in order for exercise to count you
had to drive to a gym and dedicate one hour to sweating and
struggling in order for it to be meaningful? Everyone now has a
hectic life and tying yourself to getting all of your movement needs
from only one hour of the same daily exercise routine is akin to
trying to meet all your dietary needs from a single daily meal made
of the same five foods. Creativity is key, so here are ten ideas for
getting more movement into your life without it taking time away
from work or family.
Brushing your Teeth – Most everyone does this at least once a day
so use this time for two different movements- practice balancing
on a single leg while brushing, (which is what you need to be able
to do in order to walk correctly) and then also bending forward
from the hips to lengthen hamstrings during the spitting phase.
Preparing Meals – use low tech equipment for some arm work –
chop with knives, beat with a whisk and mash with a potato
Practice Squatting – every time you have to sit to eat, work or
watch TV, use it as a moment to squat, hovering above the
seat. The same applies when rising up out of the chair -use your
legs and buttocks instead of momentum.
Shopping – Walk to the store and carry your groceries home. If it’s
too far to walk, park in the furthest spot and then walk the cart
back to the storage area. If you have your children with you, lifting
them in and out of the cart is an added bonus.
Climb stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator. Don’t
lean forward or pull with your arms, and use the back leg and
buttocks to push off with.
Practice deep belly breathing – it reduces stress and uses your
diaphragm and lungs. It can be done while waiting in line, driving
to work or cooking dinner.
Turn your head or twist your torso to look behind you when
backing up your car instead of using the built-in camera or
glancing in the rear view mirror.
Stand on your tiptoes to reach the item on the top shelf at the
market or squat down to reach bottom shelf (if that movement is
available to you).
Stretch, hold a plank position (classic push-up position while on
forearms) or work on moving your toes individually (yes it can be
done) during the tv commercials.
While walking through the house – reach up and grab the trim on
the top of the door frame and stretch (if short hang off the side) –
better yet – install a chin up bar and practice hanging with your feet
on the ground until you can work up to getting your feet off the
floor. (Two of my over 70 clients can now hang from their bars
with their feet off the floor and proper chin ups are in their future!)
As we age we tend to move less and when we move less we simply
can’t move our parts with the same range of motion that we once
had. Hence the need to move more and not only during one-hour
designated periods but more throughout the whole day. Be
mindful also that you are how you move, so if you always do
activities that move in the same direction (running, biking,
elliptical machine) and you have nothing in your life that moves
you or bends you sideways or with a twist, then you are only using
the same muscles over and over (repetitively) and you
are neglecting a few hundred others! So get creative and plan to
move more in the new year.