Movement (not exercise or training)…
The fitness industry is huge and grows every year and now more and more is taking place on line and for those not in the know, it must be quite confusing! What are you meant to do for health! I’ll do my best to clear some confusion, and it does depend on your age and your goals whether this is of any use to you. I am writing this for those who have not really done much movement in the last let’s say 5 years but you know you 'ought' to. I will also keep calling it movement as that’s what I believe is important – to move and that also takes away the fear that can be felt at the word ‘exercise’.
Let’s start !!
Movement means “to move” – I know obvious but that includes WAY more than you might realise. Here’s the importance of movement:
1. Keeps the joints moving in a good range.
2. Happy hormones are released!!
3. Stress is reduced
4. Metabolism stays more active
5. Heart stays healthy
To reap all these benefits means there are a few things you need to make sure your movement includes….
1. Big range of movement – like reach up, down, behind you, twist and turn, touch the ceiling touch the floor…. The more you can move in random ways and in as many directions as possible the better for all joints.
2. The research is still on going as to what movement releases endorphins – it could be high intensity to calm yoga/Pilates. My suggestion is just move and be happy with the movement you are doing.
3. Linked to number 2. Move and feel happy moving. The hormones lower stress levels and also blood pumps, oxygen gets carried around the body, you breathe more which helps the brain and the muscles.
4. Change what you do. The body gets used to things after about 4 weeks, so if you do the same thing, your metabolism soon goes onto autopilot BUT if you shake it up every now and then it keeps it on its toes !
5. This is the bit you might not like – you need to get breathless a few times a week to keep your heart strong and healthy. There is no way round this one….
Now you might be wondering what movement means and how to add it to your day..
1. Housework – yes it is movement, you are moving, twisting, turning, up and down, wax on wax off. Maybe put some music on too and see if you can exaggerate some of the ways you clean!! (also gardening…)
2. Dance – put the music on for minimum 10 mins – 2 tracks! and boogie.
3. Go for a walk – and carry some small weights (light ones) and move your arms about more than usual… watch out for cars and other people in the street please. Walk sideways too is great for your hips, pump your arms madly – when your arms go above your head your heart rate goes up!
4. If you like walking, every now and then go faster as you count to 100, then normal pace, then fast then normal. Same applies if you are a runner – add in some bursts, or if you want to run please walk and do 1 min run, then walk for 3 mins then run for 1min and build it up slowly.
5. Steps – did you groan..? Find some low ones and go up and down them both forward and side again…. Go slow and fast – count to 30 steps, change the leg you start with – get the heart pumping..
6. Imagine a clock on the floor – stand at 6 – right leg tap 12 – 1 -2- 3- 4 -5 -7 (behind)- maybe 8 then back to 12…. Make the clock BIG to challenge you – this is a really good one for the hip strength and range and feel free to add in funky arms
You don’t need to do much in one go, we’re not looking to make you endurance athletes! If you can slot in 10 mins here and there in the day and not sit so much you will feel so much better physically.
One other benefit? The sense of satisfaction achieved when you’ve done it. It’s hard to start so start easy and make it achievable – it really does start with one small step.
If you would like some motivation to get you going, please do email us and we are more than happy to have a chat and see how we can help you.