So we all are getting the message that we need to move more, but if you’re anything like me then seeking out an extra hour or two to dedicate to moving more is a near impossible task many days of the year.
I mean lots of walking is easy some days, especially if one of my boys have forgotten their cap or water or homework and I can trade delivery (walking) time for help later on! However most days my walking is limited to journeying to school and clients with hours for ‘exercise’ a treat only to be found on the rarest of days!
What is possible though is moving more around the home and integrating more movement with the tasks we have to do anyway. It costs us no extra time and the research actually suggests it’s more important than that burst of one hour ‘cardio’ so many of us strive for. After all 1 hour a day is just 4% of the day.. it doesn’t take a study to tell us that that’s an awful lot of not moving time!
So here we go, some ideas about how we can move more around the home.
1. Use the floor. Sit on the floor, lie on the floor to read, watch TV from sitting on the floor. When we’re on the floor we tend to change positions a lot more than if we’re in a chair so we get much more movement whilst we’re down there as well as the movement we do to get down and back up again. If you’re uncomfy on the floor then try sitting on a small cushion or stack of blankets towels.
2. Work & play at your coffee table. Sometimes the floor isn’t practical for our tasks so working at a low surface is another option where you still get the benefit of more movement whilst being productive. If you don’t have a coffee table get yourself to a charity shop or your local Ikea (where they are a mere £5!)
3. Clean with a dustpan & brush. Yes, I know this might take a little more time than the vacuum cleaner but you will get some great movement in and you will be saving electricity too which is good for both the environment and your pocket! If this feels too tough then try using a long handled broom and vacuum up the waste.
4. Take off your shoes. Going barefoot around the house is a fabulous way to sneak in some extra movement without any additional time; a quarter of our bones are below our ankles and with over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons down there there’s a whole lot of movement just waiting to be had.
5. Hang your washing instead of using the dryer. Now I understand this might be tricky when the damp & cold weather draws in but whist the weather is good then hanging washing outside is fantastic movement for the body; functional squats to get items from the basket as well as arm lifts which are severely lacking in our culture. Of course this one saves electricity too so your bank balance and the environment will thank you too! And perhaps, space permitting, you could invest those saved pennies in an indoor washing line or airer so the washing movement can happen all year round?
Tanya is co-founder of Move More UK. She is passionate about seeing people thrive by moving more!