Simple Ways to Add Movement in your Day - A Lazy Beginner's Guide
And welcome to my Health & Fitness Section.
Yup, you read that right! ‘My’ section.
We are all multifaceted and this facet of mine I haven't always been so open about, so yes, my section.
I love health and fitness and I love eating and I had always felt like they were contrasting characteristics, but I’ve come to realize that a holistic approach to health is not about diets and fads and losing weight, eating less and being skinny. It’s about a sustainable way of living, about health without the obsession, about a healthy mind and body and soul.
So, why am I telling you all of this?
I am going to start sharing my journey of sustainable, relatable and simple health and wellness in our everyday life under the tag Health and Wellness and this is the very beginning of this journey.
But more importantly, I am going to give you tips for adding more movement and creating a doable workout and movement routine in your everyday life and that comes under the umbrella of sustainable, consistently implementable, everyday health!
So, yeah - let us begin:
Make it stick
If you have started a workout habit or joined a gym, only to quit 2 weeks later, you know what I’m talking about when I say - that sh*t is tough! It really is!
Which is why, when you are motivated i.e. in the beginning, you need to make accommodations so that you can make the habit stick.
Here’s some things that you can do:
1. Habit Stacking:
This is one of the most effective methods that you can use to create and sustain any habit, including a workout one.
The concept is simple:
We all have pre-existing habits, like brushing teeth, bathing, drinking morning coffee/tea/milk.
All you need to do is stack the new habit on top of an old one.
For example, maybe every morning, you wake up, have your coffee and have breakfast. Then, make that a trigger, so that before you have breakfast everyday, you’ll get in some movement. Maybe it’s the bath you take after work in the evening that you use as a trigger.
You get the idea.
You can even keep your workout wear and yoga mat laid out in your room, to add to the effectiveness and serve as a reminder.
With time, the habit becomes automatic and it’s much easier to stick with.
All you need to do is stack the new habit on top of an old one. With time, the new habit becomes automatic and it’s much easier to stick with.
2. Set a Minimum Threshold:
You need to set minimum thresholds that will help you go on, especially on the days that you really don't want to.
For example, if you've decided to go on a 30 min run everyday, your minimum threshold can be, let’s say 15 minutes.
This means that come what may, every single day you’ll get in at least 15 min of movement. So, then, that's your minimum threshold, the bare minimum that you get done.
And let’s face it, there are always days when you don't “feel like it” and a ½ hour thing - not happening!
A 10-15 min walk or stretch, however, seems doable and is more likely to help you stick with the habit.
There are always days when you don't “feel like it” and a ½ hour thing - not happening! A 10-15 min walk or stretch, however, seems doable and is more likely to help you stick with the habit.
Tiny everyday modifications
We do a lot of things everyday, in our everyday work and home life that could be modified or tweaked just a bit to help us get fitter and get in that extra movement.
Here's some of the simplest ways that I love:
3. Park far away:
It feels like such a dragggg, I know!
I’m usually the first one to suggest getting a 2-wheeler in places where we might not get car parking nearby.
But everyday, I park my car in the underground parking and end up walking more than I would've had I parked the car outside, close to the building I'm supposed to go in.
And I’m incredibly grateful for this little tweak.
I’m of course still a work in progress, but this idea is a very simple modification and definitely works!
4. Walk where you can:
I know this sounds simple and obvious, but since we are listing everything, I’m gonna put this one in too.
Wherever possible, try walking instead of taking your bike out for a 5 min distance.
Coz we do that, right? Lazy asses that we are!
So, yeah. Walk where you can.
5. Take the damn stairs!
Whenever possible, if you don’t have a knee condition, take the stairs. Avoid the lifts, escalators and all of that.
(Although, full disclosure, even though I'm almost 22 years old, I do enjoy taking escalators like an excited 2 yr old ;)
But, you get my point!)
Let go of the everyday lift laziness and take the damn stairs!
We can’t do things alone in this world, we just can’t. It’s a beautiful thing, human connection and community.
So, loop people in on your health goals and get friends and family on board.
Here’s some things you can do to get started:
6. Make a 'connection' walk ritual:
I love a good ritual. And evening and morning walks are a great way to spend time and connect with your loved ones - family and friends.
Find someone you can do this with and make that your thing, your ritual.
7. Get accountability:
Tell your friends and family your health goals, ask them to hold you accountable.
Find a friend with a similar goal and workout together or join the gym together.
Use social media and the community there to keep you accountable.
Find out what you need support around and get support around those things!
These were some of my favourite ways of getting in more movement in everyday life.
If you even just choose 2 of the things and add them in, you’ll see the difference with these small, tiny, baby steps.
Give them a try, let me know what worked for you. I love hearing from you!