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What’s in your movement diet?

Chances are if you’re focused on health and wellness you take the time to make sure you’re eating well to support your level of activity. But how much time do you spend thinking about how much and how well you move?

Often we think about exercise as something we need to fit into our day, like a line item on our daily or weekly to do list. Exercise is thought of as a stand-alone activity like a trip to the gym, an exercise class, a hike, a game of hockey or tennis or taking the stairs rather than the elevator. How much thought do you give to the fact that there are opportunities all day long to move? Exercise and movement don’t need to be something you go somewhere to do and do in isolation.

Our modern lifestyles have us choosing convenience and time-saving over movement. Take our tendency to sit at every moment a chair presents itself. If you’re like me, everytime I see a chair I sit. It’s a habit and it’s something we all learn as part of our society. Everyday I’m learning to unlearn this habit and it takes time. But what if sitting or driving or heating up pre-prepared food or turning on the tv as soon as you get home could be turned into alternatives to get movement in our day?

Take sitting and watching tv. If we changed from lounging on the couch to lying on the floor with some pillows and adjusting our position every few minutes we get out of the habitual positions that our body is confined to every day. Same with sitting at your desk for 8 hours at work. What if you transitioned slowly to a sit-stand arrangement or stood up each time the phone rang?

An ubiquitous new technology is the Fitbit. I’ve heard countless people mention they have to ‘get their 10,000 steps for the day’ before they go to bed.Certainly prompting us to get more movement in our day through a guilt-inducing arbitrary number is a step in the right direction. But what if we flipped the equation and had the Fitbit prompt us to move when we are still for too long? Get the technology to reprogram us to prioritize movement more frequently.

What is in your movement diet? Is your day filled with positions that you stay in for hours at a time, like at your desk or while driving? Is it doing the same exercises at the gym every time you go? The same exercise class with the same moves? Or are you having a rich, varied movement diet? How often do you challenge your balance, or get your feet to move on uneven surfaces, or put some rotation into your movement?

Try looking at your day and taking note of the positions you’re spending a lot of time in, how many opportunities you give yourself to move and how often you move. Can you make more time to move while accomplishing the same tasks?