The ‘movement’ movement

Real Life Challenge

There are two habits pertaining to movement in the Real Life Challenge:

  1. Active for at least 10 minutes
  2. No sitting for more than one hour at a time

Neither of these habits mentions going to the gym or exercise, and this was no mistake.

Planned exercise has numerous benefits for our health and the gym can be a great place to do this, but it’s not the only way to move more. All our routine movement throughout the day also has a significant impact on health and well-being. This includes activities like taking the stairs at work, manually doing the dishes, tending to the lawn, cooking your own meal, vacuuming the house, walking the dog in the morning, shoveling snow or cleaning out the car.

No matter what your current level of activity is, adding at least 10 more minutes of routine movement to your day can make a difference. Start by jotting down your typical daily schedule on a piece of paper and identify periods of regular sitting that could be shifted to movement. Schedule this movement in as if it were a meeting with your boss (you could even schedule a walking meeting with your boss), commit to it, and then check off your habit in the app for the Real Life Challenge. Would any of the shifts below fit into your lifestyle?

  • Sitting while on a conference call→pacing around during a conference call
  • Watching TV on the couch→stretching while watching TV
  • Letting the dog out when you get home→taking the dog for a walk when you get home
  • Snagging the closest parking spot→intentionally choosing the furthest parking spot
  • Sleeping for an extra five minutes→going up and down the stairs in your house for five minutes
  • Lounging after dinner→taking a walk around the block after dinner
  • Scheduling dinner with a friend→scheduling a walk or hike and a picnic with a friend
  • Pushing a cart around the grocery store→carrying a basket instead (for limited items)
  • Going to see a movie with your partner→walk around a new museum with your partner

For more information about the Real Life Challenge, go here.

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