Strategy #2: Aim for “movement” rather than “exercise.”
People often assume they have to go straight into training for a marathon or lifting heavy weights. But in order to get the benefit of movement, you don’t have to train. You can just move.
You don't need to block off time.
One of the biggest hurdles is finding a block of time to exercise - or move. You don’t necessarily need to schedule a time to exercise - you can start by piling mini actions that add up over the day. Those “mini actions” could be anything: walking to the office water cooler for a drink; emptying the dishwasher or mowing the lawn; goofing around with your kids. The great thing about this approach is that when you treat exercise as fun or play, this instantly becomes more accessible.
Aim to slightly increase the ways you already move.
Unless you’re literally lying in bed all day, you’re probably getting some kind of movement. Just getting up in the morning, making breakfast, getting to work—all these things require movement. So the question is, how can you expand on the movements you're already doing? Think of creative ways, instead of taking the elevator, walk the stairs, circle around the block after you take out the trash, or walk the dog for a few extra minutes.
Lean into the "mostly inactive" things you enjoy.
For example, you might not like to move, but cooking is a passion. So let's focus on encouraging movements through this activity. Let's go to the grocery store, pick up the pots and pans, and dance around the kitchen while you cook. In time, you grow more comfortable moving. Many other hobbies can involve movement. Love to read? Walk to the library or stroll around a bookstore. Like to paint? Try painting on a larger canvas, so you're encouraged to stand and make larger arm movements. Love to shop? Instead of shopping online, walk through the mall or local shops. If you like beer, maybe do a brewery tour or walk to the beer store instead of driving.
Embrace the "everything counts" philosophy.
Get this: Just thinking that your daily activities “count” towards your fitness goals can make a difference. One study conducted out of Harvard University found that if we believe our daily activities (like housework or child care) count as exercise, the physiological benefit of those activities is enhanced. The placebo effect can be a legitimate way to increase physical fitness, without changing your daily routine.So, think about your daily routines, and appreciate how the activities you do are already contributing to your health.
Stay tuned for Part 3.
Team Maneki Fit