‘Regular physical activity is associated with a greater sense of well-being + lower rates of depression + anxiety across all age groups... mood + affect have been shown to be improved by as little as single bouts of exercise of less than 10 minutes.’
Like connecting, it can be hard to prioritise the time to get moving. This is especially true if your job doesn’t lend itself to moving around. It’s great to know that activity of around 10 minutes can have a positive impact on mood so it might not be so difficult to get moving after all. Here are some things to try that might make moving a little easier:
START THE DAY WITH A STRETCH
It sounds simple and the truth is it's not that difficult to incorporate into your routine. There are few ways you can do it from waking up ten minutes earlier than you normally would or finding bitesize chunks of time in which to add some stretches to:
- Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil
- Whilst waiting for your turn for the shower (or any queue you're in throughout the day.)
- As you get out of bed, maybe you can have a mat on the floor by your bed?
WALK + TALK
Meeting someone or planning to take a call? How about switching things up and doing it on the move? That way you can focus on the conversation whilst getting some fresh air:
- Walk around the block at home or at work
- Head to your nearest park
- Grab lunch + go for a picnic
If you're on the phone, its good to take some headphones so your arms are free and you could even add some stretches whilst you're walking!
BIKE AT THE READY
Sometimes we've got the best intentions to cycle but its just too much effort to get out the door. You leave it so long that you loose confidence too. Why not prepare a cycling kit with the essentials so that as soon as you have the option to ride rather than drive, everything's ready:
- Tire pump
- Lock + key
- Water bottle
- Hair tie + shades
The best advice I've had from a reiki practitioner was to 'Dance like nobody's watching.' That was her prescription after a super relaxing session. Dance isn't just moving, its moving to music. The music can also lift you up and transport you to a higher place. We often listen to slow and calming music to relax but how about trying so funk or soul classics. It can seem silly at first but you soon find that you can incorporate dance into almost every activity:
- Tidying + cleaning
You can do it with your loved ones too, getting some connection in there too.
LISTEN TO A HEALTH PODCAST
So, listening to a podcast isn’t going to make you to move automatically, but getting health or sports based inspiration has a funny way of encouraging you to take action. I particularly like Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee but you can access hundreds of different ones to try out. Just search 'podcasts' in your mobile phone app store and subscribe to the ones you like the sound of. There's something for everyone. Podcasts can be a great soundtrack for a walk or a run too. There's so much to learn in the podcast world!
Whatever you get up to, adding a little extra moving into your life can boost your well-being. Think about the times you are sitting still and see if you can add 5-10mins of movement, even if its only with your upper body. Moving through your mood.