Get Movin’ – Six Steps Away From Sedentary
“I think the most important thing is to keep active and to hope that your mind stays active.”
Check and check, Jane.
Although I kinda wish my mind was a little less active. If it was, then maybe I wouldn’t be sitting on my derriere quite so much in a day, working at the damn computer.
But alas, I’ve chosen the life of a writer and as such, a significant chunk of my day is spent sitting on my rather well-padded tush (maybe it’s an evolutionary-thing…maybe I was built to write?).
Thankfully, however, the Universe keeps on sending teachers into my path to help ensure I do indeed get up from said tush. On a regular basis. Throughout the day.
Because if I don’t, then that tush will continue to…er, expand. Evolutionary benefits aside, aesthetically this is not a good thing. Never mind all the health implications: tendinitis, stiff neck, shoulder pain, lower back issues, headaches, eye strain, and on and on.
Anyway, back to the teachers – one of which is my dog, Sadie. I’m already learning a lot from this new Retriever of mine.
Although I suspect Sadie’s goal in life is to beat some sort of record in the Guiness Book of Records for Dogs for the highest number of times chasing a ball in one’s lifetime, I must admit she is one fit canine. And therefore, she gets me out every day for at least one walk to the beach or hike in the woods – or both.
Another wonderful teacher in my life these days is my Nia dance instructor, Arleen. Every Monday evening, Arleen gets all of us ladies laughing and leaping about the room.
“Nia is about the joy of movement,” Arleen reminds us. “We’re here to have fun! Now use your whole core to lift those arms in the air….and don’t forget to BREATHE.”
Ahhh…yes, breathing. How soon we forget.
“And don’t leave what you learn here in the classroom,” says Arleen. “Take it with you into your daily life.”
So that’s exactly what I do now, to help incorporate more movement into my everyday routine. Sure, I look like a bit of a nut walking around town, lifting my arms (from the core) while breathing in deeply.
But at least I’m a more energized nut (with a slightly smaller bum) and besides, I’m moving so quickly (due to Sadie, ball in mouth, dragging me at lightening speed to the beach) people probably can’t even recognize me anyway.
Six Steps to Help Take You AWAY from Sedentary
If you, too, have to sit in front of a computer for much of your day, here are 6 simple steps you can try to help bring more movement into your life:
1. Get a timer. When you are working at the computer, set the timer for an hour. When the timer goes off, get up. Go for a quick walk to the bathroom, lunchroom, garden, water cooler…it doesn’t matter where you go. What matters is that you move.
2. Okay, let’s try #1 again. This time, when the timer goes off after an hour, you actually have to get up. Now. Not 20 minutes from now.
3. Alright, third time lucky. When the timer goes off (again), pull yourself off your chair (like a barnacle getting pried off it’s rock) and walk away. Congratulations! I know full well the extent of this achievement…a computer is strangely beguiling for an inanimate object.
4. Now that you’re up, if you don’t want to go for a quick walk (because who likes to be bossed around), then perhaps just do a stretch. Raise your arms (from your core). Take a deep breathe and exhale. Go do some dishes. Throw in a load of laundry (if you work from home). Get some fresh air.
5. Repeat throughout day.
6. Get a dog. Or better yet, come borrow mine 🙂
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the playwright of Saviour. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here. The Mothering Matters blog series began May 11th, 2015…subscribe here to join the discussion.