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This week I wanted to dive into a problem that popped up from a client recently. They were having a hard time building movement into their day. Between a long day at work and a hectic family life, they just didn't seem to have the time or energy to build the recommended 10'000 steps into their day.
You may recognise the issue. It's a common problem in the modern day. Especially in a city like London, where time really is at a premium and convenience is at an all-time high (great public transport links, Uber, cars etc.). There just never seems to be enough time in the day to fit in all the things you want/need to do.
Why Daily Movement is Important
Daily movement is one of the most underrated factors when it comes to health, wellbeing and weight management. We are made to move. Daily movement helps to increase your metabolic rate (great for weight loss), changes the way you use or store energy, keeps your muscles and joints healthier and helps to manage stress levels.
One of the biggest benefits, though, is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. You don't have to have a gym membership, specific clothing or skills.
But, that is also where the problem lies. When time is the main obstacle and you are always trying to fit more into your life, two things happen; you may want to drive everywhere/use public transport to fit it all in and/or veg out in front of the TV after a tiring day. You just can't seem to fit a nice walk into your day.
So here is today's question: how you can fit more time on your feet into your day?
Here are a few things you could try:
- Raise awareness of your current level. Get your rough baseline movement levels. Use an activity monitor (I love my Garmin Vivoactive 3) or the step counter on your phone to track your steps or active minutes.
- Aim to add 5-10% onto your average daily steps total (one of the laws of habit building - make it achievable).
- Think about easy ways to incorporate movement into your day (another law of habit building):
- Go for a walk at lunch-time to your favourite lunch spot that's a walk away from your office.
- Try to accumulate lot's of bite-sized chunks of activity each day.
- Stack walking into your day; get off of the bus a stop earlier or walk to the shops instead of driving 60 seconds.
- Get up on your feet as often as possible.
- If you have free time at the weekend, try to go for some longer and more continuous walks. You could go for a nice walk and pub lunch in the country with friends, go shopping 'up town' or join a local meetup group.
Become a problem solver. How can you improve on your current situation? The goal is to get off of your bum and up on your feet. It may not seem like a big thing, but it really does make a big difference to your mental and physical health. Start small and, just like planting a seed, as you feel the benefits gradually increase your activity levels.