This article is intended for anyone who wants to move, and enjoy conscious movement more. This won’t be a term paper on the 5 basic movement patterns (although we’ll touch on that another day) this is just a basic 101, smart tips for getting moving more and enjoying it!
Movement is something we do daily in our lives; many times without even a thought. We reach for a glass of water, we grab a shopping cart and walk through the store, we wave our hands to say hello to a neighbor across the street. We move daily, but sometimes when we think of movement in the sense of “getting your daily exercise” we construct a roadblock in our minds that the phrase has some long and arduous, exhaustive and undesirable activity attached. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be.
Movement is essential for our bodies. From our brains to our muscles and joints, movement is necessary and can improve our daily lives. From the most known and recognized benefits of daily movement, like weight management, strengthening of bones and muscles, to some of the ones we may not think about, like better sleep reduced stress, reduction of health risks* and overall better moods, movement is something that should celebrated, not dreaded and it is not a one-size fits all approach.
Here are our 3 tips for starting a conscious “movement” plan for you, that will allow you to not only stick to your plan, but enjoy the journey of it!
Start Small - Any goal completed, no matter how small, is a success. It may be that you decide to wake up early and do a full body stretch in the morning. You may decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or you may decide to take the longer route walking your dog. Whatever your goal is, small goals, lead to larger goals. Don’t feel like you have to come out of the gate with a one hour intense workout session. While that’s great, everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, starts somewhere. The goal is to be aware of your movement, how much you are moving in a day, and be conscious and thankful for it.
Find What You Like to Do- The beauty of movement is that there are so many ways to move! Some people enjoy being outside in nature, walking or running. Others enjoy being in a gym, lifting weights or using strength machine, while others enjoy the energy of a group fitness class. There are so many ways you can move that the options are basically endless. Taking a dance class, joining an online yoga class, playing outside (or inside) with your kids or dogs; heck, virtual reality games now exist that will burn as many calories as many traditional workouts. The point is, find what really gets you excited to move. It’s out there, you just have to start looking for it.
Set a movement time/ and or location- Life's busy. We've all got a million things to do in a day, so scheduling a time and making it a priority, even if it's jsut 10 or 15 min to start, is a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated. In addition, sometimes having a set space to go to helps create the habit. Your mind equates this space with this actvitiy. So whether it's stretching or doing some yoga in your bedroom at dusk, or doing some body weight exercises in your basement before the day starts, setting a space and time, can help you create a healthy start, that will become a healhty habit.
Finally, enjoy the process and the journey. Our bodies are amazing and wonderful things. Movement is one of the greatest ways to express ourselves, so dance in the kitchen, play with the dog, skip with the kids, or just stretch and enjoy the quiet and stillness or just being and breathing. Whatever it is, just get moving.