Say Goodbye To Sedentary Life, and Hello To Movement CultureMay 03
With our busy schedules, we often compartmentalize our lives. As our society tends to prioritize work and money, this consequently has brewed a sedentary culture where we separate work and exercise. This comprises of carrying on a stationary, traditional 8 hour work day (which most often runs longer) preceded by an hour or so of high intensity workouts, hoping to compensate for all the time sitting in our chair.
While this might be thoughtful and great for our wellbeing, experts such as Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement encourage what they call, the Movement Culture. Instead of establishing a concentrated block for exercise, the Movement Culture encourages folks to scatter their exercise time throughout the day with small and simple movements. As a result, we’d take breaks throughout the day to move, leading to a much healthier lifestyle.
Here are some tips to help you smoothly weave in the Movement Culture into your daily routine:
Stopping for 5 minutes of freeform.
Every 2 hours STOP and set a timer for 5 minutes. During those 5 minutes your only focus is to move your body however it wants to move! Try things like arm circles, cat-cows, or knee-bends. Let one movement lead you into another. Remember you are NOT exercising, there is no pressure to perform–just tune into your body and discover how YOU want to move.
For some ideas, check out this video that provides 20 minutes of natural movements:
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Re-arranging your home and office space.
Look around you. What are some items that you use everyday? Move these items to areas that would require more movement on your end to retrieve them. For example, if you store your coffee mug on the kitchen shelf that’s leveled to your height, try moving them to the bottom shelf that would require you to squat.
Adapting different forms of positions.
Think about the sedentary positions you take. For example, think about the way you sit. If you usually slouch in your chair, try doing shoulder rolls to help promote better posture, or purchase a backless chair. More importantly, take time to sit down on the floor while working or watching TV to stretch out your body.
Here are some ways to sit on the floor to promote better posture and flexibility:
Taking a recess walk.
Take walks throughout the day. Start your day with a small walk around your neighborhood or park. Take another one with fellow colleagues before lunch and another one after lunch to shave off that food coma. Not only will this give you some peace of mind throughout the day, but you’ll be racking up on the steps and mileage that you may usually tackle later in the day.
Wearing flat shoes for optimum movement.
As flattering heels or dress shoes are, they constrict your feet. By switching to minimal footwear, you allow your feet to function to their full capacity, which engages movement in more parts of your body. Try to also go shoeless as much as possible around the house.
Check out the list of brands Bowman suggests for minimal footwear. She even provides brands for the office, so that you can wear them for various occasions.
So instead of penciling in a time for exercise into your daily routine, engage your body in a variety of movements throughout the day. Maybe take your conference call during a walk. Have an important email to send to a client? Stretch your hamstrings while brainstorming and jot down the main points you want to make in your email.
Incorporating movement into your daily routine shouldn’t have to be a hassle or huge lifestyle change. With a bit of mindfulness and rearranging, you could build a much healthier you, physically and mentally. The key is to adapt small habits that’ll help frame a more active environment for you. Say goodbye to the sedentary life.
With that said, here’s a fun video where Katy Bowman gives us a house tour, and how she implements movement into her environment.