Monday, April 18, 2011

So... How Are YOU Going to Move Your Body?

The Movement Project
If you're just tuning in, FoodWise Nutrition has launched The Movement Project!  For the rest of April we're discussing how to incorporate exercise into our lives, and on May 1st we're starting 30 Days of Movement.  I challenge you to move every single day during the month of May!

Now that you've found some time to exercise, what are you going to do?  The most important question you can answer right now is, "What do you like to do?"  Really.  What movement do you enjoy?  If you haven't done much since you were a kid or teenager, remember back to what you loved to do.  Did you play sports?  Swim?  Dance? Walk around the neighborhood and visit with friends?  You will love moving so much more if you enjoy what you're doing!

Nowadays you have lots and lots of movement options: home, gym, outdoors, classes, and sports.  You name it, you can do it!  Having a combination of options available will probably be the most reasonable, given that some days you can only move for minutes and some days for a hour or more.

The advantage of exercising at home is that you don't have to go anywhere and it's very, very cheap.  You can work it in at any time of day and the intensity of the workout varies with your needs.  The disadvantage is that it can be challenging to get motivated to move while at home, life interruptions are more common, and we'll often stop before our exercise program is complete.

So, what are your home movement options?
  • Dancing to music
  • Exercise videos
  • Audio-only yoga (check
  • Kettlebells
  • Bodyweight exercises/calisthenics
  • Video games (Wii, X-box connect, etc)
Typically, people think going to the gym is a mandatory part of any exercise program, but it's only a good idea if you'll go to the gym!  There are many advantages: you can go in any weather, there are usually free classes and the gym has a variety of machines to choose from.  On the downside, it takes time to get to and from the gym, it costs money, and there is the potential for repetitive, boring exercise if you don't mix up your routine.
Outdoor exercise is a great free option, especially as we get into spring and summer.  Your opportunities are endless, including walking, running, biking, hiking, swimming, rollerblading, and more.  You can do it anytime and you'll get fresh air to boot!

Taking movement classes is a wonderful way to meet new people and learn a new skill.  You can do martial arts, zumba, yoga, pilates, dance, CrossFit, bootcamp, etc.  It's both mentally stimulating and rewarding to be with other people.  In these types of classes you'll be working your whole body and increasing your balance, coordination and flexibility.  The disadvantage of classes is that they're typically a hour or more, and they're always offered at aspecific time that may or may not fit into your schedule.  They can also be expensive.  Buyer beware.

Sports are fantastic because they give you a reason to move!  They also offer the camaraderie of teamwork and the thrill of competition.  Most recreational leagues are quite affordable, but just as with classes, the practice and game schedules are usually set.

So, again: what are you going to do for movement?  

Here's an example of a one-week movement schedule.  
This is just a sample -- your movement schedule should be unique to you!  
  • Monday: Dance class after work
  • Tuesday: 20 minute audio yoga class from before work
  • Wednesday: Gym after work (elliptical machine, free weights)
  • Thursday: 25 minute exercise video at home before work
  • Friday: Walk at lunch with co-worker
  • Saturday: Hike with husband and dog
  • Sunday: Dance video game with kids
 Your Movement Project Goal
           Write into your exercise schedule the exercise or movement type you are going to do each day.
Up next: Accountability. How are you going to keep yourself moving on day 2, day 10, day 28?

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