My little sister and I were reminiscing about our beloved Grandmother the other day, we affectionately always knew her as “Gram.”
Even into her 80’s she could outwalk us all and we hardly ever saw her sitting down. She was always buzzing around the kitchen and house doing “stuff.” My sister Stace, who is the Anna to my Elsa, reminded me of something Gram always use to say, “Just gotta keep moving!”
And that’s the whole point of Move Happy. To just keep moving, in any way that makes you happy, and your health and wellbeing will respond positively.
Don’t Call it Exercise!
I’ve always been exercise-averse! Not that I didn’t enjoy walking places or boogying to music while doing housework, but that 1 – 2 – 3 repetition doing various exercise moves, just wasn’t something I ever enjoyed or stuck to.
I did try over the years, doing every workout DVD on the spectrum from the gentle Lisa Whelchel’s Everyday Workout to the feel-the-burn Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I also tried several YouTube videos, doing them for a while, then just getting bored.
As a result, my body wasn’t in very good shape and I just got more sedentary over the years.
There was a commercial that used to come on showing an active senior couple going off to play tennis, and the voice over said something like, “A body at rest stays at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion.” I used to hate that commercial.
Because they had my ticket! I thought they were mocking me specifically as I sat there on the couch with no energy, getting winded when I had to get up to take my glass to the sink. (Okay, I wasn’t THAT bad! But close)
I actually don’t like the word exercise, which is why I put it in quotes in the title. Being active and having a healthy body is really more about body movement than any “exercise” regimen. If you enjoy your regimen, that’s wonderful, I just prefer to call it body movement, whether you’re doing a spin class, yoga, or an aerobics workout… or walking every day like me.
What I found when I started walking for my health was that I felt good when I got back from a walk and I never got bored, because I would listen to music, discover the world of podcasts I’d been missing, or just enjoy thinking about stuff.
And as my body got healthier and I had more energy, I realized it wasn’t about “exercise” at all, it was just about moving your body and doing it regularly. Just gotta keep moving!
What Good Things Happen When You Move Your Body Regularly?
Some great info I researched was shared by Whitney of Province Apothecary and shows us that regular body movement can have a ton of body/mind/spirit benefits.
Little Ways to Sneak More Body Movement Into Your Days
So, beyond the normal body movement activities, like gardening, biking, walking, running after toddlers, etc.. how do you sneak in a little more movement to keep that body in motion?
Here are a few tricks I use on myself to encourage more body movement.
1. Make Extra Trips to the Kitchen/Den
If I’m in the kitchen getting something and I know that in an hour or so, I’ll want a water or paper towel, instead of getting it when I’m in there, I’ll purposely not grab it at that time. That means another trip to the kitchen (or other room in your home), sneaking in a little extra body movement.
2. Chair Dancing
When I’m at work, I have to sit at my desk most of the time, but while listening to music in between calls, I sneak in a little chair dance whenever my playlist hits Cheerleader by OMI. (How can you NOT dance to that?!) I might still have to be in my chair, but my arms and legs can hit the beat hard! I’ll add a video sometime about my move when he sings “Like a Genie in a Bottle.” 😊
3. Weekend Mini-Project
I have to be careful on the weekends not to fall in to the old (sit on the couch and binge watch) habit that I used to have. Now that doesn’t mean I won’t be binging the next season of Stranger Things, but I’m more mindful about also doing something on Saturdays and Sundays that keeps me active.
My “mini-projects” usually take about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours and include doing something that has my body up and moving (I also magically get stuff done around the house!). Some of them have been:
- Calking the upstairs bathtub
- Planting vegetables in the garden
- Cleaning the garage (this was a multi-weekend one)
- Going through the closet and filling bags with clothes to give to charity
- Cleaning old stuff out of the kitchen cabinets
- Refreshing the mulch in the front of the house
4. Parking Farther Away
When I was a kid something that drove me and my sister crazy was that Mom always parked as far away from the store we were visiting as possible. There would be a ton of empty spots closer, but noooo we had to park in Siberia and walk a mile just to get into the store.
It turns out Mom was doing us a huge favor! And it’s something I now adopt to put a little more movement into my days. When I’m going grocery shopping, to Walmart, or somewhere else, I’ll park farther instead of nearer, getting a few more steps sneaked into my errands.
Enjoy moving. You’re going to feel so much better, have more energy, and be happier the more you incorporate regular body movement into your days.
Let me know how you sneak some extra body movement into your days! Hit me up on social media using hashtags: #MoveHappy #HappinessMe .