I read an article last week that stressed the importance of small movements in daily life. I usually blow by these articles with their standard "take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far away in the parking lot instead of circling for a spot, yada yada yada" advice.
I run 23 miles a week including a sprint workout. I lift weights 2-4 times a week. Sometimes I throw in yoga or the stationary bike or 20 minutes on the stairmaster. Daily movement? Thanks, but I'm good.
Or am I? What popped for me in this article was a study that found that hard core exercisers were often some of the most sedentary people out there. It's as if (ahem!) a hard 5-mile run gives a person permission to sit at their desk or veg out on the couch for the rest of the day/evening.
That hit close to home. How many nights do I spend immobile on the couch, reading a book or watching TV, smug in my knowingness that I've "earned" the right to do so because I "killed it" in my workout earlier that day?
The article suggests that the more small movements a person can consistently add to their day, the better their overall health and weight.
So guess what? I'm looking for small movements in life. A few things I've tried this week:
- Joining the God of Dawn (aka "Blair") for a 10-15 minute walk a few mornings each week
- Doing my 20-minute AM Yoga tape each morning. The stretching is so simple as to be embarrassing, but it's movement
- Attempting at least 2 chin-ups each day
- When home, getting up from my desk and going outside (the article also stressed the importance of getting outside and breathing fresh air) for a 5-10 minute walk around the block
- Blair and I will occassionally walk at night, after dinner, to digest our meal
- Stop procrastinating on household chores and look at them as a chance to be moving versus yet one more thing to be checked off the to-do list
- Adding on a brief walking cool-down to the end of my runs
Surprisingly, I'm enjoying my short walks and easy yoga. I'm typically of the mindset that if I'm not sweating and hyperventilating when exercising, it's not worth my time. The question is will I be able to keep the walking up when the weather turns cold. It's not bad outside right now at 6 a.m., but I suspect leaving a warm bed for a 10-minute walk in 30 degree weather will hold significantly less charm and appeal.
It also galls me to give up a front row parking space at the gym. First come, first served! But that's probably a topic for another post.