Four Ways to Get You to Move More Within Your Day
Jeffrey works out three times a week. He kinda watches what he eats too. But he finds himself with little to no movement most work days.
It seems like he’s always sitting down and feels the weight just climbing on to him in his chair. He’s simply become a little lazy sitting on his desk throne and relying on his three workouts to do all of the work. It’s simply not enough and he knows it.
The topic of fitness can be misleading. It can assume only working out. You know, one of the following:
- going to the gym or fitness center
- doing a home workout
- running or biking
Yet someone who is “fit” looks at fitness with more of a broader perspective.
A “fit” person looks for every opportunity to add movement within their day.
Huh? Don’t I move enough?
Sadly, this is what most people believe and most people are overweight and far from “fit.”
Here Are Four Ways to Get You to Move More Within Your Day
M – Move More Than the Average
According to Tom Rath’s research in Eat Move Sleep, on average we now spend more time sitting (9.3 hours) than sleeping in a given day.
Consider the person’s average day:
- Sit for breakfast
- Sit commuting to work (national average, one-way daily commute is 25.5 minutes according to the US Census Bureau in 2011 via USA Today)
- Sit a majority of the work day at their desk or in a meeting (minus a bathroom break)
- Sit commuting back from work
- Sit at dinner
- Sit watching TV in the evening
Do you see a theme? The point is we sit most of the time and far more than we even realize which makes movement a rare event.
So, how do you compare? Do you sit with the average or move more than the average? Not sure? Then…
O – Observe Your Movement
Awareness is rare these days. Most people are simply not aware of their behavior. It goes on auto-pilot moving from one day into the next without a passing thought.
And this could not be more true than in the area of movement. Just being aware of how much you move within your day sets you up for the ability for change.
Now that you’re aware of how much the average person does NOT move and sits a majority of the day, it’s time for you to observe your own routine.
You know your day better than anyone and your habits.
Then begin to get creative on ways to implement movement into your day.
Personally, I need to create two average days: home office / travel because those days are completely different and my goal is add movement to both average days not make excuses for the routine change.
V – View This as a Daily Challenger
I love challenges. Yeah, one of those guys. But more in personal challenges that can improve me. And this is exactly that kind of challenge by answering these three questions:
Where can you walk when you normally would call or email in the office? – sometimes we could simply get up from your desk and walk to get the answer instead of calling or emailing. It would be a quick break and add movement to your day.
When can you walk further than you normally would walk less? – this hits the parking button. If you’re like the average person, you’ll spend more time driving around to find a parking spot a few feet closer than finding a spot further away and adding movement not to mention possibly even saving some time! Choose to park further away and add some much needed steps.
When can you walk when you would normally ride? – if you see an escalator or an elevator this should be a trigger for you to consider the stairs. It will instantly add movement (and quality movement at that) to your day and can become a great new habit.
Could you take a walk for a break or lunch? – when I worked a corporate 9-5 job in a business park, I would log some miles on the corporate park track especially over lunch. It was amazing what a 10 minute walk over a break or a 30 minutes walk over lunch (of course listening to an audiobook) did for my mood, mental state, and my energy.
The point is there is movement within your day but you just need to look, get creative, and willing to make some changes.
Traveler Tip: When I stay at a hotel, I take the stairs every chance I can to add movement within a travel day. When I first started, I would request the 2nd floor so I can knock out the stairs easily. Now, I don’t mind a few set of stairs and often it’s actually quicker than waiting for the elevator.
E – Evaluate Your Day
IF most people actually add something into their lives, even fewer take the time to evaluate if it’s working and how to make it better.
Here’s your chance to implement CANI in a very simple form: Movement.
When I look either at my day ahead or back at the day, I almost always see areas where I maximized movement or took the easy way out. This daily evaluation allows me to make the necessary changes to MOVE.
If you’re not in the habit of reviewing your day, this may be a mini habit into a powerful tool to CANI. You can do it. Just try it for a week.
Choosing to MOVE is actually a mini habit and has been a recent focus for me after reading the book by the same title, Mini Habits by Stephen Guise.
Adding movement seems like such a small thing and in and of itself, it is just that, a small thing, which ironically should make it easier to implement. But the results add up over time.
As motivated professionals, we need to look for small ways and small wins to improve our lives and reach our potential.
I challenge you to:
M – move more than the average
O – observe your movement
V – view this as a daily challenge
E – evaluate your day
How will you add movement to your day?