What Keeps You Moving?
Makena Nixon, CPT
Many of us look at working out as a chore. But what if you reframed that idea of working out to a relationship that nourishes and sustains you. Find something that YOU enjoy. This small mindset shift can lead to enjoying and sticking with something for a longer period of time.
Instead of having this negative connotation to exercise, as something you need to “achieve” or a kind of “fitness perfection.” Exercise should be something you are consistently practicing as means of reclaiming movement, and overall well-being.
The human body is designed to MOVE! It is made to walk frequently, to change physical planes (sitting and standing, pivoting, or lunging in multiple directions) and to push or pull things. Each of these movement mechanics force the skeletal and muscular systems to move fluidly, which allows your joints to stay lubricated and injury-free. However, we live in a very one-dimensional world without much movement variety. This type of lifestyle causes a host of unwanted side effects, such as restricted mobility, stiffness, higher cancer risk, depression, lower cognitive ability, pre-diabetic blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and the list goes on and on….
Functional Strength Training: What is Strength? Strength is the ability to carry a load from point A to point B, whether that be a dumbbell, grocery bags or your own body weight. It requires having the structural ability to meet the demands of carrying the various loads we come across each day. Cultivating this strength is crucial in preventing injuries, slowing down the aging process (you lose muscle mass as you age, so building it up preempts excessive loss) and boosts mood-enhancing endorphins.
How do you start a Strength Training Program? This is an intimidating question because there are numerous methods ranging from kettlebell workouts, olympic lifting, bodyweight training etc…Rushing into a strength training program without proper technique or correct loads can cause more damage than good on the body. If you do not have past experience working out with weights, or exercising in general the best and safest option is to find a qualified trainer who can progress your strength program in a safe and effective manner.
Sedentary lifestyle encourages physical atrophy. When we are sitting and not moving we are getting stuck. Muscles stop firing, joints get stiff and bones lose density.Moving improves everything your metabolism, your microbiome, your sleep, your immunity, your cognitive function, your stress level and overall balance in your daily life! It is time to Get Moving!
Tips on Moving Daily:
- Park further away from stores, always choosing to walk the distance instead of driving
- Take stairs whenever possible
- Walk during your lunch break
- Perform 10 Sit-to-Stands every 30 minutes, or some form of movement for 1-minute every 30 minutes
- Get a standing desk
- Pick one exercise (squats, crunches, plank, push-ups) during commercial breaks
- Go for walking dates with friends instead of coffee dates
- Find a gym or workout classes you enjoy
- Research and find a trainer who can hold you accountable, train you properly and assist you in reaching your health and fitness goals
- Get a fitness tracker and set a daily step or movement goal
Lipman, Frank. How to Be Well: the Six Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.
Swain, David P., and Brian C. Leutholtz. Exercise Prescription: a Case Study Approach to the ACSM Guidelines. Human Kinetics, 2007.