Today I’m blogging from my patio roof. It’s been so gorgeous here in Maryland that I’m trying to be outside as much as possible. How often do you get outside? Most of us work inside, and of course we go home to our houses and typically workout inside a facility of some sort; which is too bad. Being outside can do a lot for your health.
Listening to the different sounds, and getting plenty of fresh air is good for the soul. For example, as I type this I can hear the birds chirp, the church bells ring and the wind rustle the tree tops. If feels good to be alive, even though I am working from my computer, I can take a moment to be close to nature.
How much do you walk? I’m sure by now most people know that sitting is the new smoking. I recently heard a survey that said people sit on average up to 15 hours a day! WTF? ( <–where’s the fitness) Most people sleep less than 7 hours a night. So that leaves just a few hours for walking, standing, or moving. That is ludicrous!
Sometimes the gym can feel like an enclosed cage, it’s as though we are animals at a zoo doing the same thing day in and day out. On a beautiful day, when the sun is shining, why get on a treadmill, indoor bike, or pick up weights inside a building? When you can go for a hike, ride a bike, walk, run, even climb and lift rocks and logs outside?
I know I can get in a workout slump and do the same thing day in and day out because it’s habitual, but we need to change our habits, because they are killing us.
We can start by going for walks during our lunch breaks. An evening walk with your spouse after work and a family hike on the weekends. Biking doesnt have to be expensive, you can get a pretty inexpensive bike and take it to work or just around the neighborhood on the weekends. If you have a desk job, see if you can get a stand up desk and set a reminder on your computer to switch positions at least every 20 to 25 minutes. If you can’t do this, then get up and walk a bit every 45 minutes. Do some squats, lunges, walk to your coworkers desk instead of emailing. Get creative with movement. One of my clients sets a timer and does squats one hour, push -ups the next and rotational movements the following hour. She also stopped using the elevator and takes the steps everyday. We can find ways to move more everyday.
After attending the Ido Portal’s Movement X workshop in Dallas last weekend I have a desire to hang, climb, and go upside down more in my daily movements. (By the way, Abby and I recorded a podcast recently about our exeperience at Ido Portals Movement X workshop. You can listen to it here.) Fun movements, like the ones we used to do as kids and somehow stopped doing when we grew up. It’s not always easy as you get older because we stopped doing them but it’s not impossible to get back into doing those moments. It’s fun and feels good on the body too. I incorporate hanging, squatting, and upside down movements into my warm up or cool down routines. You don’t have to jump right into a handstand, downward dog can be a good place to start. Fun fact: going upside down helps to improve brain function, focus, balance, reduces stress and helps improve joint function. Our balance is maintained via the vestibular system (fluid in the inner ear), as we age and no longer “exercise” this system, it looses functionality and reduces our ability to maintain balance. Upside down movements is a way to exercise this system and reduce the likelihood of loosing your balance and preventing falls as we age.
Look for ways to move more in you day. Get creative with it and have fun. Don’t worry about making the movement perfect, or looking like a goober, just move and play. That’s what movement should be about. Not just exercise and work, but exploring and living.