My intention for today’s post was to talk about the research on the benefits of short bursts of exercise throughout the day, compared to one long workout in a day. But, instead of talking about the research (that I feel a lot of people won’t read), I thought it might be best to just put ideas out there which will hopefully give you ways to improve the amount of physical activity you are currently getting in each day.
When I started creating videos, I started because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help seniors to get strong and healthy and I really wanted to change the future of seniors’ health. I know a lot of people sit throughout the day, either on their computers, watching TV or doing other sedentary activities. A lot of people only get in physical activity when they chose to do a 10-45 minute workout. The fact is, the more sitting we do, the more tired we get. Many of us have low energy through different periods of the day, especially in the afternoons, but if we move (even just a little bit), we become energized from that movement. Since I took my LOA from work, I also realize I don’t move as much as I did when I was at work. So, I decided to set a goal for myself to get more movement in the day, and I invite you to join me.
Here’s the movement challenge:
Most people are up between 6-7 a.m., but I think most of us want a bit of time to wake up, get breakfast, do things around the house, etc., so the challenge starts at 8 a.m. (maybe for you, it might be 9 a.m. depending on when you get up). The movement challenge is to move for 2 minutes EVERY hour until 8 p.m. What might the movement be? Well, anything you want. Here are some ideas, but choose whatever movement you feel like doing:
-punch quickly in front or in various directions
-kick forward, or to the side, or back
-hamstring curl and back row
-put on a song you love and dance it out for the two minutes or until the song ends
-single arm, one leg at a time no-jumping jacks
-walk up and down the stairs
-hula hoop it out
-push-ups against the kitchen counter
There are endless movements you can do. You can mix it up by doing a move for 30 seconds, or a minute and then change it. It doesn’t matter. Just MOVE for 2 minutes every hour. If you do this from 8 am to 8 pm, you will get in 26 EXTRA minutes of movement a day! This doesn’t replace your usual workout but it should provide you with extra energy during the day. By adding these short bursts of movement, you will get in a lot of extra steps on top of your usual workout. The 26 minutes every day will definitely add up over the weeks and months.
Set your alarm for every hour, or just move for 2 minutes when you see it’s around the hour mark. If you accidentally miss one, just make up for it when you realize it. And if by chance you want to make your 2 minutes a longer goal, that's fantastic! I just felt two minutes would be a realistic goal for most people and it's a start. But, by all means, if you want to make your goal longer, go for it. Just make it a realistic goal that you can stick with.
I’m starting tomorrow…and I hope you’ll join me!