I’m so excited to get started with A Practical Guide to Wellness for 2018! Remember that small changes add up to HUGE results in your overall health. Wellness doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to become a habit! You want to keep up with the past objectives, and then add in the new ones as they are posted. If you’re just joining us, or you need a bit of a refresher on the past six objectives, you can find them all here.
Objective #7: Get Moving
Timeframe: 3 Weeks
Listen, we all know that exercise and movement is important. I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail on exercise because at this point, we all know we need to be doing it. Exercise helps to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases, and gives us an outlet for stress while mitigating the physical symptoms of stress. It helps to slow down the aging process, and can even make you look younger – which, let’s face it – I’m pretty much all for that. Exercise gives you an immediate mood boost and can help to combat depression and anxiety. Of course it also helps keeps your body limber and toned, keeps your heart strong, keeps those joints moving as we get older and can help (along with a healthy diet) to keep our body at a healthy weight.
There are a few things to keep in mind here. I’m not saying you have to go join a gym or run straight to a HIIT class, and go nuts. (but if you want to, that’s great!) I just want you to get moving every day. Get your body working, your heart rate up a bit and work on your flexibility and strength.
I will be honest. I don’t love exercising. I love how I feel after it, and I know how important it is, but exercising consistently is hard for me. We all have things that struggle with, and this is one of those things for me. I’m sharing this because I want you to know that I’m working on this objective right along with you, and working to create some new, more consistent habits when it comes to exercise and movement.
Here are some suggestions to get started:
- Start each morning with some stretches and breathing exercises. Note: this is also a good way to end the day and prepare you for good sleep.
- Take a walk everyday. Start with a 10 minute walk, and work your way up to 45 minutes.
- Play with your kids. This can be as simple as getting down on the floor and playing with them, or going outside to play tag, kick a soccer ball or going to play at the park – but actually play at the park with them.
- Play with your dogs. Take them for a walk, run around outside with them…you get the idea.
- Find some good workout videos online. There are so many free options on YouTube, and inexpensive subscriptions online. Sometimes just being able to workout from home makes it so much easier than having to go to the gym or a class.
- If you love going to the gym or classes, that’s great! Make a schedule for yourself, and then stick to it.
- Get some small hand weights or a resistance band and do some reps a few times a day with them.
- Have a dance party! Turn on some music and dance around your living room. This is not only great exercise, it’s good for the soul!
The most important thing is to find something you enjoy, and that works for you, and keep doing it!
Did you know that sitting is one of the worst things we can do for our health?
Sitting can cause as many, if not more, negative health effects as smoking. Sitting for long periods of time has been shown to raise the risk of developing diabetes, experiencing a cardiovascular event or getting certain types of cancer. A 14-year study involving nearly 185,000 participants published in the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that time spent sitting was independently associated with mortality. This result was true regardless of the participants’ physical activity levels. Yes, that means that even if you’re exercising regularly, sitting at a desk all day still puts you at risk!
Our bodies were made for movement. When you sit down in a chair (or lay down on the couch!), your muscles disengage, your hips tighten and your spine becomes nearly rigid. Blood flow while in the sitting position is sluggish, which can impact brain function, heart health and even raise the risk of blood clots. Sitting can also cause a dramatic drop in production of fat-burning enzymes and calorie burn.
Many of us can’t avoid sitting for some or most of the day – we have to work. Here are some suggestions to help:
- Get up for 10 minutes every hour. Set a reminder on your phone or on your FitBit (or other fitness tracker), and get up. Walk around, do some stretches, break out those hand weights or resistance bands and do a few reps.
- Get a standing desk or just stand up at your desk a few times a day. Now, don’t stand up and hunch over your computer as that will cause back issues, but stand up while you’re on a phone call or while you’re talking to someone.
- Make it a point to engage your core muscles a few times throughout the day. Sit on an exercise ball at your desk – this forces you to engage your core and work on balance. It keeps your body moving without you even thinking about it.
- Use part of your lunch break for exercise. Take a walk, go to a short exercise class, do some yoga.
- Recruit your co-workers! Get them up and moving, too. A support group always makes things easier!
- If you work from home, get a friend or two to hold you accountable. Check in with each other during, or at the end, of the day, and let each other know how often you got up from your desk.
Your Objective: For the next three weeks, focus on getting your body moving every day!
Make a plan for yourself, call a friend or two, recruit your spouse or significant other, and do this! Find ways to move every day – even if it’s not a full workout – just move!
Keep in mind that as you increase physical activity, you need to increase your water intake. If you need suggestions on how to drink more water, you can go back to Objective #1 and review.
Also note that if you have any type of heart condition, autoimmune issues or any health issues, follow the advice of your health provider. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it with strenuous exercise. Just move as much, and as often, as your body will allow.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of my favorite workout resources and tips in the Facebook group, so if you haven’t joined, be sure to click through and do so. I’ll also be posting my own exercise and updates in my Instagram stories, so follow me there, too!
Sign up for the email list to make sure you never miss an update or new objective!
Tell me: What is your favorite workout or exercise? How do you stay consistent?
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat or diagnose any health condition. Please consult a doctor, healthcare professional or a Nutrition Consultant for information specific to your health needs.