Lesson 8: Movement is medicine

Losing the ability to walk or bend deepens your appreciation of the way your body moves. After my bicycle accident, I was unable to walk, bend, or even sit for a time while I healed. As time passed and I regained my strength, I was so appreciative of my body’s movement.

Our bodies are designed to move, and I have a renewed passion about movement. I have stopped thinking about it as exercise; instead now I just think about keeping my body moving, because I know in order to be healthy, we need to keep our bodies moving.

One of the problems for so many of us is that we have jobs that keep us sitting most of the day, and so we wind up with a very sedentary lifestyle. We need to take regular breaks and as much opportunity as possible to move throughout our day.

With exercise, many of us have the idea that if we are not running a marathon, it’s not worth it. But if we can reframe exercise as movement, we can more easily think about the small steps that we can take right now, no matter what our current physical abilities are.

Small Change Challenge 8: Park in the farthest parking spot

As you know, I advocate small changes that can make big shifts. With movement, we need to start with the level we are at. If you struggle to walk up the stairs or down the street, you need to start small and build up to more movement.

One of the ways that we can start adding more movement to our day is to just make it part of what we do. Instead of looking for a close parking spot, we can park in the farthest spot and walk the extra steps to the building. If there are many restrooms in your office, you can walk to the farthest restroom or water fountain. As you build up your strength and stamina, you can add more walks or longer distances.

If this type of movement is already a regular part of your day, choose another type of movement to add into your day. You could do squats by your desk, or stand on one foot while you brush your teeth. Although they are small acts, they push our body to move in new ways.

Make a plan today for how you are going to incorporate more movement into your day. Let us know what you are doing in the comments.

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