“The less we move, the less we are capable of moving” ~ Pete Egoscue Author of Pain Free Living and Founder of The Egoscue Method
What Makes Movement so Important?
Disney+, Paramount+, ESPN+, There is even an AMC+… More always seems to be better in our society, and in many cases, it can be. However, when it comes to movement, we want to aim for being mindful and intentional.
More may not always mean better.
If we were in a game of Family Feud and Steve Harvey asked, “According to 100 people, how do they define fitness and/or movement goals?” what comes to mind? I’ll bet one of the first things you thought of was 10,000 steps.
The goal of 10,000 steps per day has become synonymous with the standard of exercise…
The answer is that in the 1960s, Yamasa Tokei (who produced the first commercial pedometer) used 10,000 steps as a marketing slogan. Since then, it has become embedded into society’s measure of activity/fitness.
This article from Insider sums up a lot about 10,000 steps and how many steps may be beneficial to losing weight for different demographics. Click Here to read “Forget 10,000 Steps- Here’s How Much You Should Walk a Day” (Landsverk).
Think of movement as an essential, necessary part of life. This does not mean we must be so fixated on the specific number of steps needed. Nor must we presume that all movement is for weight loss.
If you can move, you have one of the greatest gifts! If any reader of this article has ever had surgery or movement taken away from them for an extended period, you know what we mean.
Sometimes when we feel least motivated, we should move.
For me, there are times when I have a headache, feel sluggish, or have had a busy day at work. During these times, all I want to do is sprawl out on the couch and not move.
It is easier and feels great to do nothing; however, I have found in those moments that I feel remarkably better (physically and mentally) when I get up and move.
Benefits of Movement
Whether that is a quick walk on the treadmill, around the neighborhood, biking, or even stretching, exercise and movement significantly impact our body and our brain. According to Juliette Tocino from positivepsychology.com, the ten benefits of exercise include:
- Decreased stress
- Decreased social anxiety
- Improved processing of emotions
- Prevention of neurological conditions
- Euphoria (short-term)
- Increased energy, focus, and attention
- Hindrance to the aging process
- Improved memory
- Improved blood circulation
- Decreased ‘brain fog’
These should not be taken lightly or glossed over as information you might have seen before - this is powerful stuff!!
Building Movement Into Your Day-to-Day Routine
Many of us who work at our desk or home office/couch these days spend a lot of time sitting.
Getting started can be a challenge for many of us. Here are a couple of suggestions I encourage you to check out. Try and see how they feel for you to enhance your overall movement and how you think:
Walk More (again doesn’t have to be 10,000 steps!)
Take work calls while walking or riding your stationary bike (maybe at a pace where you’re not out of breath).
Start small if any light activity is currently challenging.
Some mobility exercises are a great way to start your day off right.
I’m pushing the ripe age of 29, and suddenly, I’ve got more aches and pains without any specific causes.
When I start my morning with stretching, light yoga movements like cats & cows, downward dog etc., I feel looser and more energized.
Start small with this too. Light arm stretches/swings and doing stretches while still lying in bed are great ways just to get started.
Have access to a pool? Swimming and practicing movements like squats are a great way to move with less strain on your joints.
Have a Friend Join You
An excellent social connection can make any activity more fun!
Do Things You Enjoy!
Gardening, walking, hiking, tennis, basketball, swimming, bocce ball, and bowling are some fun ways to get extra movement into your day!
I will end this article with the quote I started with because it is compelling and mighty.
“The less we move, the less we are capable of moving.”
We need to stop thinking about movement as only a way to exercise and only for losing weight.
Instead, we need to start thinking about how important movement is for our entire well-being. We need to prioritize it in our lives to continue enjoying life to its fullest.