#HealthierMe: Do Better [Move MORE]

#HealthierMe Series [Eat. Think. DO. Better]


I am not a couch potato.


As someone who comes to Chuckwalla (or “the gym”) even twice a week, you might see (or hear) the words “sedentary lifestyle” and skip right over them with a pat on the back because that phrase, “Doesn't apply to you.” Hold up, let’s do a little math. We can even use me as an example. Even if I go to the gym 5 days a week for an hour (Ha, I wish!), that’s only 35 hours out of a 168 hour week, meaning only 20% of my time was spent moving. Break that into a day, if I workout for 1 hour that is only 4% of my day! Based on those numbers, I spend more time sedentary than moving, and I would fit into the sedentary lifestyle category.

Still not convinced? Think of how much time you spend sitting. Sitting behind the wheel of a car driving to your 8-hour-a-day desk job, then unwinding on the couch in front of the TV all evening. We’ve even automated many tasks in order to outsource our movement - cell phone apps, email, direct deposit paychecks, and online shopping to name a few. (source - WebMD) The average American spends 11 hours per day sitting.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the benefit of 1 hour of exercise 4-5 times a week is HUGE. And if you’re making it your goal to accomplish that each week, you can still have that pat on the back. But if that hour of time at the gym is your only source of movement, you are doing yourself a disservice and not reaping the full benefits of your exercise. So let’s try not to stop there! If the price of being sedentary is heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity...aka the leading cause of preventable death...let’s consider for a moment what would happen if we don’t hang up our “movement” in our locker at the gym, leaving it solely for our 1 hour of “workout” time each day. I know it will be MORE THAN WORTH THE EFFORT.

“But I’m busy and tired. Why would I want to move MORE?” Because…

  1. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) activities, basically sitting less and moving more, burns more calories! So you just expanded your calorie burn beyond the one-hour at the gym. Boom - more donuts.

  2. You were made to move. You cells crave it. Your DNA thrives off it. It’s like a vitamin for your body. (Learn more: Move Your DNA)

  3. You will look and feel better. Considering #1 & #2, imagine how you will feel if your joints aren’t locked up and stiff from hours of sitting, if you have fewer chronic aches & pains. Imagine how you’ll look if you are burning even more calories. (Or imagine how many more donuts you can now eat…)

  4. Your movements at the gym will come easier and get stronger. Remember last week when Coach John wrote about Moving BETTER in the gym? He cited our difficulty with hitting proper positions as being due to the amount of time we spend...sitting. If we just move more we don’t have to fight our body so hard to move better.

  5. You will add years to your life and life to your years. If you’re moving more, you are fending off chronic disease that shortens your life. And if you’re moving more, you’re probably finding more things to enjoy in life - and your body feels good enough to enjoy them.

“Ok, that sounds nice. But I still don’t have time!!” I'm not asking you to spend an extensive amount of time moving. I'm just asking you to add movement to what you're already doing. Stop thinking about each part of your day in segments, breaking down each obligation into categories. If you need to take a phone call, take it while going for a walk! Better yet, throw on a backpack to carry the package you need to mail and walk to the post office while you take the call. Boom - multitasking, 3 things done at once, you actually saved time, and you moved! (source - Nutritious Movement)

“Alright, I’ll try it. Give me some ideas.”

{image source}

The idea behind moving more is to avoid staying in one position for an extended period of time. There are 3 main ways to do this, and once you consider these concepts you can apply them in all domains, from work to school to home to running errands.

  1. Constantly change it up! Every hour you should change position. Stand up! Turn around. Sit down. (Do the hokey pokey! Haha. But seriously, that’s what it’s all about...) Anyway, sit on the floor, sit on a ball. Lay on the floor. Spend time in the squat position. Walk.

  2. Spend 10 minutes of that hour performing NEAT activities. Wiggle your toes. Reach for the sky. Jump as high as you can. Look as far as you can see. (Eyes use muscles too!). Sit up taller. Take 10 deep breaths. Stretch it out. Stand up and extend onto your tippy toes. Turn on your favorite tunes and dance, even if you're "bad at it."

  3. Think outside the box. Can you automate one less thing, forcing you to do the work instead of outsourcing your movement? Schedule a walking meeting. Take your morning coffee break at a nearby park. Use the playground. Try a new sport or activity. Squat while you scroll on Facebook. Do jumping jacks during every commercial. Pick things up, carry them, and set them down...with that perfect squat/deadlift position that you practice at CrossFit!

Have you ever watched a child play? Natural movers. Squat, crawl, roll, throw. Run, jump, climb. Use your imagination! Have fun and be silly. Explore the world around you! Don't take your body for granted.

Move more. I bet you’ll also smile a little bigger, laugh a little more and find more beauty around you.

{image author's own}

More resources:

- Nutritious Movement blog, books & podcasts

- MobilityWOD books, podcasts & programming

- Google "move more"

#move #healthierme #healthytips #chuckwallacrossfit #crossfit

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