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There’s no denying the importance of movement on the journey towards optimal. But, the idea of what it means to "stay active" has changed significantly over time. Today, emphasis is placed on intensity and performance over functional movement and exercise is generally restricted to the gym setting. While this has its place, it’s always worth considering whether there exists a more effective solution. So, here’s another perspective to think about—movement is more than the time spent in the gym, engaging in high intensity exercise. It’s a summation of your habits and the way you actively express yourself throughout the entire day. Movement is a lifestyle. Not only is this model more advantageous in your long-term pursuit of optimal health, it more closely aligns with our evolutionary origins and connection to nature—i.e. days spent outdoors, filled with physically intensive tasks vs. days spent indoors with short bursts of intensity. Although operating like our Paleolithic ancestors can be difficult in the modern world, we can certainly build a lifestyle around regular movement and work to diversify our movement practice as much as possible—and we must. Here are some easy ways to make movement a lifestyle and fuel your full day: 1.) Stand throughout the day. Our bodies were designed for movement. Unfortunately, the modern work setting has typically encouraged sitting, causing most to remain sedentary throughout the day. The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are well studied and it is a significant factor for a number of chronic diseases (1). What's the solution? Find ways to stand throughout the day. This could mean investing in a standing desk or scheduling regular breaks to take a walk—whatever it takes to reduce the time spent sitting. While there are a number of general recommendations for how much one should stand, a good rule of thumb is that you should be trying to stand for a majority of your day. Set a goal and build up to it! Your body will thank you. 2.) Go for a ruck! Rucking is simply the act of walking a set distance with weight on your back. Not only is this a great way to get a workout in, it also offers the opportunity to switch up your intensity level. Plus, it gets you outside and mimics the act of carrying a load over a large distance—much like our ancestors would have had to do! If you have never rucked before, it's fairly simple and can be tailored to anyone's fitness level by adjusting the weight carried or the distance covered. Here's a great guide to get you started: https://www.goruck.com/pages/what-is-rucking. Give it a try and remember to make it fun! 3.) Get up and immediately get outside. Spending time outside in the morning is a great way to accomplish something early and set the tone for the rest of the day. Not to mention, exposure to the morning sun helps boost optimal energy levels and will give you the fuel to continue moving throughout the day. Take advantage of the morning by going for a walk (or ruck) or simply getting outside to move around. 4.) Plan activities that force you to move. Instead of taking a trip to the movies or going out to eat, think about planning a more active excursion. Anything that keeps you outside and keeps you moving! Examples include: Biking Hiking Rucking Camping Doing it with others helps you stay accountable, so emphasize finding an activity everyone will enjoy. 5.) Cook your own meals. Have you ever cooked while sitting down? Likely not. While this one may be slightly unexpected, preparing your own meal is a great way to stay moving right before you sit down to eat. 6.) Take a walk after you eat. Having a trigger for activity is a great way to build a habit. If you commit to taking a walk after eating, you’ll always have an easy reminder. Be consistent and encourage others to follow suit. 7.) Keep moving at the end of the day. It’s easy to get home at the end of the day and want to call it quits—but, this is a great time to get outside and continue moving. Going for a walk (or ruck) is a great option and can keep you away from sedentary activities like watching television or scrolling on your phone. End the day how you started it—by moving! 8.) Move in nature whenever possible. We are inherently attracted to spending time in nature and the benefits of doing so are endless. Find ways to move that consistently get you outside and connected to the natural world. 9.) Make movement fun and connected to others. Community optimizes success and building positive connections with others while continuing to move is a great way make it part of your lifestyle. Find likeminded people who enjoy activities similar to you or go outside your comfort zone and try something new. Whatever you do, do it with others and make it fun! -- Make movement part of your functional lifestyle by building your day around habits and activities that keep you active! Doing so helps you cultivate an ecosystem that keeps you feeling your best—day in and day out. This is the surest way to health. Cites: 1. https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2018/08/10/stand-more-sit-less.aspx _________________________________________________________________________ Medical Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Monette nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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