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Move More

Happy Monday Everyone!

Raise your hand if you have a desk job, or just feel like you could get some more movement in daily?

In today’s society we are more sedentary than we have ever been. Research shows that living a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing heart disease; diabetes; obesity; and cancer. On the flip side of that, just getting a little daily movement in can cause health benefits such as: increased energy; improved mood; reduced stress; decreased risk of depression; weight management; more mental clarity; improved blood flow; reduced risk of chronic health issues; etc. However, the world we live in today can make it quite challenging to get active and very easy to be sedentary, so here a few tips to hopefully support you with getting some more daily movement in:

  • Stand up and move each hour: Consider setting an hourly alarm to hold you accountable to get up and moving, even if it's just for a minute. It can be as small as a quick stretch; walking in place while you watch your TV show; taking a lap around the house; etc. Here is an example of what I'm doing today to get some movement in throughout my work day:

  • Track your steps: This will give you an idea of where you're at with your activity, and support you with setting realistic goals. Even the individuals who devote at least an hour of their day to exercise might be surprised at how low their daily step count is. The recommendation for steps per day is 10k, however it is important we set goals we can actually achieve. Consider tracking your steps for a week to see where you are at on an average day, and then set a smaller goal such as 500-1k steps more than your current step count. Once you meet this, add on another 500-1k until you eventually get to the 10k+. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

  • Schedule out time to move on your calendar: We all have different schedules and lifestyles, so there is no one size fits all for when to get active. Some people can schedule out an hour to exercise, and others might only have 10 minutes, and research shows 10 minute bouts of exercise 3 times per day can be just as beneficial as the recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times per week. At the end of the day 30 minutes is 30 minutes even if it’s broken up. Consider taking some time to map out your day, and schedule out time to exercise even if it's for 10 minutes.

  • Find something you enjoy!: A lot of people feel like they have to do heavy weight training versus body weight strengthening exercises; have to run instead of walk; have to be sore the next day to make it a good workout; etc. However, this is not necessarily the case. It is going to be hard to stay consistent with something you dread doing versus something you actually enjoy doing, and at the end of the day it's all about consistency. Maybe you like to jump rope; maybe you like to dance; maybe you like to play tag with your kids; maybe you like to hike; maybe you like to walk your dog; maybe you like doing yoga; maybe you like doing stretches; maybe you like to binge watch your favorite TV show and get up and march in place for 10 minutes; etc. Consider journaling this scaling question to support you with identifying what you truly enjoy, and once you identify that stick to it!: "On a scale from 1-10 how much do I enjoy doing this, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest?". Once you identify your top choice, consider asking yourself "What could I do to enjoy it even more so that I can consistently implement this?"

  • Stand up Desk: If you are working from home consider looking at a stand up desk, or keeping exercise equipment at your desk such as light weights; resistance bands; exercise ball; etc. This will encourage you to be less sedentary throughout the day, and most likely will support your energy and productivity levels. A great resource for desk exercises is: if interested! Even if you don’t work from home and find yourself sitting too much, this can be a helpful resource. It also has a variety of exercise ideas, so it could give you more options to identify what you like best when it comes to exercising.

  • Keep a journal: Something as simple as writing something down can really support our motivation and hold us accountable. Consider journaling your "why" or motivation behind wanting to move more; what benefits you've noticed; what you are most proud of; and any challenges you faced and one small thing you can do next time to break down this barrier. This can help you with keeping that motivation up, which is usually the most challenging part of moving more.

  • Create a Reward System: For example "If I go on this walk, then I'm going to watch my favorite movie". It's all about balance, and having healthy rewards set in place can support us with staying motived. Consider reflecting on healthy rewards you could have to support you with your goals.

  • Have a positive mindset toward moving your body: If you are telling yourself “I have to do this“ due to a negative health issue such as: having to lose weight; having to look better; having to do this to get my A1C down, then more often than not it is going to feel like a chore and very forced. Consider reframing your mindset to focus on the positives. For example: Rather than saying “I have to exercise because I‘m disgusted with how I look”, consider saying something like “I’m going to start moving my body more so I can have more energy to do my job; to be around for my kids and grandkids; to be able to do all those fun adventures I promised my spouse after retirement; and to be more confident in my own skin”.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found these #MotivationalMonday movement tips valuable, and have a happy and healthy Monday!

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