Daily movement is essential. It’s easy to get to the end of a long day and realize you haven’t moved in hours, but studies show that our sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to our health. What’s the good news? Daily movement can be incorporated into your routine without disrupting your schedule.
According to research, long-term habits are ones you practice on a weekly, routine basis, consistently throughout the day. While it is widely assumed that it takes 21 days to form or break a habit, science suggests it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days. It is determined by your objectives, support system, lifestyle habits, motivation, and overall health, among other things. The key to developing a habit is repeating the desired habit or behavior. The more frequently you do it, the more likely it will become a habit!
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Examine your expectations
You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you’re not going to transform your body overnight. Too much expectation too soon leads to disappointment. Don’t let what you can’t do or how far you have to travel to reach your fitness goals discourage you. Focus on consistency rather than outcomes instead of stressing over them.
While mood and energy levels may improve quickly, the physical payoff will take some time. Going for a quick walk is preferable to sitting on the couch; one minute of activity is equivalent to no training.
Most adults are currently advised to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Exercising for 30 minutes five times per week will help you get there. It is acceptable to break things up. Two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions can both be beneficial.
2. Make Small, Achievable Goals
Instead of working out seven days a week, set a goal of three, maybe four! Furthermore, these workouts do not have to be hour-long gym sessions or boutique fitness classes. All of the benefits can be obtained with a 15-minute workout in your kitchen.
Does the fact that you’re still motivated to move on those other four days mean you can’t? Certainly not! But consider it a bonus! You exceeded all of your exercise objectives and then some! These mental tricks can sometimes help us form habits by reinforcing positive behavior and a positive mindset. By setting small goals, you’ll be laying a solid, long-term foundation for the larger long-term goals you want to achieve.
3. Make a 5-minute commitment
Commit to a daily 5-10 minute workout to set small goals. Even on the busiest days, we can all fit in a quick five minutes of exercise! Perhaps you do a 5-minute ab workout, 50 burpees in 5 spurts of 10 burpees spread throughout the day, or lace up your sneakers for a mile walk or jog with your dog. After a while, you’ll be able to complete these 5 to 10 minutes without thinking about it — you might notice yourself clocking the minutes!
4. Incorporate a morning routine of five movements in five minutes
You can set the tone for the day with a quick morning movement routine that allows you to control your schedule rather than the other way around. Take five minutes and do each stretch for one minute:
- Roll your feet: While standing, roll each foot from heel to toe on a tennis ball. It improves foot flexibility, which improves balance and coordination. Pay special attention to any tender spots.
- Bend forward from the hips, holding opposite elbows, and hang your head heavily. Yes, nod your head, and gently shake your head no.
- Sitting on the floor, stretch your legs out in front of you, and cross your right leg over your left, keeping your left straight. Plant your right foot on the ground and twist with your left elbow outside your right knee. Turn around from your core and look to the back of the room.
- Interlock your fingers behind your back, palms facing in, to open your chest. Extend your arms behind you, out and up.
- Interlock your fingers in front of you, palms facing in, while still standing. Extend your arms parallel to the floor, out and up. Then rotate your grip so that your palms are facing away from you. Push your arms out from your body, hollowing your chest, and feel the stretch in your upper back.
5. Change your daily commute for a workout
You are not commuting to work if you work from home. That’s time you can put it to better use in your day. Consider going for a walk, stretching, or creating a warmup routine before sitting down for the day. Take a few deep breaths outside if you don’t have time for a walk. Fresh air can help cleanse your lungs and relieve stress.
6. Take phone calls while standing
Look for opportunities to move around as you begin your day. Phone calls are an excellent time to stand up and talk for a few minutes. Furthermore, studies show that walking during a meeting improves communication because the increased blood flow to your brain allows you to articulate ideas more effectively.
7. Allow the music to guide your daily activities
Move in time with the music. Music in the background can inspire you to move without realizing it. Try a work-from-home playlist, such as this, to help you focus while adding energy to your day.
More daily movement will improve your mental clarity, energy levels, and productivity. At the end of each day, the active reflection will help you subconsciously reward yourself for doing things that make you feel better. Because you’re creating a habit, this should motivate you to do it again the next day.
To maintain optimal performance in all three realms of existence—mind, body, and spirit—one must maintain a healthy daily routine. Never undervalue the impact consistently doing little; purposeful acts can have on your life. It would be best if you had it to improve yourself, and the soul train gym & spa is here to help you discover your most fabulous self.
A life-changing habit can be as simple as one good behavior practiced daily. Just start.