This week I listened to an excellent podcast featuring biomechanist Katy Bowman. Katy talked about the differences between movement and exercise in the context of our increasingly sedentary lives and how they affect our health. It was really interesting and got me thinking about how we can fit more movement into our days and the effects on our health and wellbeing.
Exercise is defined as activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. Movement by contrast is simply that – MOVING and changing your position! Exercise fits into the category of movement but not all movement is exercise.
Why is this important you ask? Well, there is increasing evidence to suggest that exercise alone is not enough to supplement a sedentary lifestyle. And let’s face it, most of us are sedentary these days. Katy uses the analogy of eating a diet of junk food while taking vitamins. It just doesn’t make sense.
So how can you fit more movement in your life? Here are some suggestions.
- Get up from your computer every 20 minutes and either move around or do a 30 second stretch.
- Vary your working place throughout the day – try an exercise ball for 20 minute increments, use a standing desk or if at home set up a standing work station from your kitchen bench.
- Try walking meetings – I had a patient a few years ago who replaced café meetings with walks around The Tan and noticed a huge difference in her wellbeing and waistline!
- Walk more – walk to the shops, school pick up… Park further away at the shops or get off a couple of tram stops earlier and walk.
- Get outside and play with your kids – they’re expert movers!!
- Grow a veggie patch – this requires movement to plant, maintain and harvest.
- I like to sit on the floor at night. We have a huge rug on the floor in our living room where I sit while watching TV or reading. You can’t sit in one position on the floor for too long, you have to MOVE. Try it!
What are your ways to fit more movement into your life? I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Let’s all make a commitment to Move More in November!
Yours in health,
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