Movement is more than exercise and should last all day long.
Lunch Hour Lesson #47
In these lunch hour lessons, I’ve discussed sleep, I’ve discussed stress, and now I’d like to discuss movement as the third very important category for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Movement is not the same as exercise. Movement simply means that you move your body in various ways throughout the day, while exercise is a structured time to accomplish some movement goal.
In other words, exercise is only one type of movement. There is a range of movement that a person can engage in, from gentle stretching all the way to endurance athletic events.
While it is great to make sure to get in your thrice weekly gym workout, more and more fitness experts and body mechanic researchers are promoting the message that finding any way to move frequently throughout the day can be even more beneficial. And doesn’t require you to sign a contract! Unless you want to, with yourself 🙂
There was a period in my life when I did a lot of running. I also got excited about barefoot running as a more ancestral practice, and wore those Vibram Five Finger toe shoes for various races. It was fun, but I would say that it didn’t leave space for more well-rounded movement.
Now, I prefer to walk instead of run, and also incorporate more stretching, yoga, and a high intensity 4-minute workout every day. It takes a lot less time than my marathon training sessions, and I feel more invigorated vs. burned out.
“I feel 10 years younger with lasting energy and stamina to perform my best at work each day.” Julia F., Oregon RESTART Participant
I haven’t been convinced that a treadmill desk is something I want to do, but I try to set reminders to stand up and stretch at regular intervals when I have a sedentary day ahead.
Beyond all this, which some might still consider exercise, there are the chores of life which still count as movement. Standing and bending to make a meal, doing laundry, gardening, mowing the lawn, parking far away and walking in to stores, washing your car, or cleaning the house all give quite a good range of movement. Playing with your children on the floor or doing yoga with them can also be fun and gets you to bend and twist as well.
We do have to be aware that the ease with which we can order food and other items online, and the inexpensive drive-through car-wash means that we’re not as mobile in some of these endeavors anymore. Last weekend I washed my car by hand for the first time in a long time, and my sore arms the next day was a bit of a wake-up call!
The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter how you do it, but minimizing the time that your bottom sits in any chair, and getting your heart rate up once each day is the goal.
There is a short 4 minute workout from Zach Bush that I do every morning after my stretching routine. It feels great, is super easy, and gets the heart rate up. Do it right now!
Lunch Hour Lessons with Allison
Watch this week’s Facebook LIVE – Lunch Hour Lesson #47: Just Move!. Each week I bring you a topic related to nutrition and health that I think is interesting, and give you a lesson to take with you into your daily life. Watch Live on Facebook, Wednesdays, 12:30pm PST!
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