How do you move your body on a daily basis? Do you have room to add more activity in your day?
Life can be a balancing act. When things get busy, regular exercise sometimes has a way of ending up on the bottom of the priority list.
So, having some quick ideas to add more movement to your schedule can make a world of difference to your health, energy, and happiness.
Here are five simple ideas and tricks to make moving easier (without sacrificing your whole day):
Most of us have a number of routines in place, even if we don’t think we do. Things like brushing our teeth, bathing, driving to work—they all just sort of happen and don’t require a lot of thought or planning.
Why not multitask where we can, and add in a bit of movement to spice up our regular routines?
Here are some ideas: Do squats or standing lunges while you brush your teeth, stretch your muscles while you take a shower, contract your abs and buttocks during you commute to work, do calf raises while you wash the dishes, enjoy a walk on your lunch break.
These are just a few of the many possible ways you can get creative and move while you go about your day.
Make it be whatever works for you, and think outside of the box. Exercise doesn’t have to be reserved for the gym.
2. Set a Reminder
I love setting reminders on my phone. I have one that pops up hourly to remind me to have a glass of water.
It might also be fun to set a reminder to have a spontaneous dance party with yourself, or to get up and jog on the spot, or stretch your muscles, or hop on one foot.
Setting reminders is yours by design. You could use technology, or you could elicit the help of a friend who’ll hold you accountable and check in with you regularly.
The idea is to plan a bit ahead so you don’t have to think about it. All you need to do is be brave enough to follow through—you never know, you may start a movement in your office through your movement!
3. Visualize Being Healthy and Happy
Never underestimate the power of visualization. I love to visualize while I’m running or exercising. I imagine how good it feels to be in a fit body. Sometimes, I think about an upcoming holiday or event, and I picture myself there feeling awesome in my body and confident that I’m healthy and strong.
When we put our focus on what we want to feel like, it has a way of creating that feeling in the moment. This is such a better alternative than beating up on ourselves for not looking or feeling a certain way. Visualizing has a way of opening up our minds to the idea that it’s possible and attainable. It also helps us stay more accountable because we’re more apt to make choices that’re in line with this end feeling we’ve connected with.
So, before you drift off to sleep, think about how good it will feel to lace up your shoes in the morning and get some exercise. Imagine yourself feeling really great in your body while you’re moving, or picture yourself doing something you love while feeling really healthy and strong.
Have some fun with this practice, and see what might be stirred up within you by seeing how you most want to feel in your body.
4. Make it a Priority to Get More Sleep
A good night’s sleep makes everything feel better. When we get adequate sleep on a regular basis, we end up having more energy and motivation.
After a good night, it’s also so much easier to lace up our shoes and get moving. So, if we want to have more pep in our step, then we need to know when to say goodnight and stick to a regular routine of getting enough pillow time.
So, set an alarm for bedtime. So often, we’re programmed to set an alarm to wake up—why not set an alarm that signals it’s time for sleep? Then, remove distractions from the bedroom. Instead of using your smartphone as an alarm, invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock. That way, you won’t be tempted to use your phone for other things (email, web browsing, social media). It’s the “out of sight, out of mind” rule in action.
Sleep is the foundation for setting ourselves up to feel good. Get back to basics and see how you feel after several nights in a row of solid, restful slumber. After being recharged, you may be surprised by how natural it feels to get moving.
5. Set an Intention
Setting an intention to do something is often the first step to getting there. With clear intention comes direction.
We can use our intention as a tool to add more movement in our day. It’s as simple as waking up in the morning and consciously setting an intention to move more. We might want to write down a few ideas in the morning of how we’ll add in more activity. Or, perhaps it may work best to say it aloud, or go back to creating reminders and incorporate our intention into the plan.
Again, this comes back to what we put our focus on. When we’re focused on an intention of moving more throughout the day, we’re more likely to choose options that will result in doing just that—like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, having a business meeting combined with a walk, or getting up for more stretch breaks throughout the day.
Be sure to create intentions that’re your own and personally meaningful, so you’re more likely to stick to them.
Ready to get moving? I know you have what it takes to squeeze it into your routine—and you won’t regret it.
This article was originally published on Wellthy Living. It has been republished here with permission.
Photo of people walking courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.