Last week, I published a blog post titled, ‘When exercise hurts – a personal experience’. Lots of awesome discussion came about on social media from this, and it prompted me to think about movement in general. What do the people in my team do to get more movement in their days…? And what advice can we give to others from our personal experiences?
For myself, I make sure I’m up and moving around the garden or the office when on a phone call.
Here are some PurpleCo team members writing about their ways of implementing more movement into their day/week.
“I swim 3 times a week. I realise it is
actualexercise, not just movement. I use a snorkel so I don’t have to die of inability to breathe, but actuallyI regulate my breathing the whole time I’m swimming. I count the laps within each breath, which is tied to my arm movements as well. They say that focussing on your breathing for just 9 minutes a day is amazing for your mental health; I am in the water and focussingon my breathing for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. I find the focus on counting means that it is easier for thoughts to come and then just go again, which is a key principle of mindfulness, which is also great for mental health. For my high-intensity-interval training, I swim like there’s no tomorrow for 1 lap every 10 laps, then do breaststroke the next lap as an active recovery.
I enjoy cycling, but I’m off my bike (see photo – need to use recumbent bike now due to aftermath of major constructive surgery a couple of years ago) at the moment because of a tendon tear from a long ride a couple of months ago, so, about 3 times a week, I cycle on my stationary recumbent bike and watch Netflix on my phone. Every 5 minutes, I go hard for 30 seconds (that’s my high-intensity-interval). I cycle for about 45 minutes, then do some shoulder strengthening exercises.
Some days don’t go to plan. If my kids have had a disrupted night, sometimes I don’t get down to the pool at 6 am as planned. I give myself those days
off,or do something after the kids have left for school. Schedules are great; flexibility within them is what makes them work while life keeps getting in the way.
And I have a sit-stand
desk,so that I can stand up for periods of each day (which I don’t always do, but doing it sometimes is HEAPS better than not doing it at all…).
“This is a picture of me and one of my best buddies Wendy this morning. We meet at 5:30 am once a week for a walk and talk
What I love about this is that it “kills” three birds with one stone, or is a win win win situation. We get some exercise (though we barely notice that we are exercising as we are so busy exercising our jaws!), we have dedicated time to talk and share our lives with each other- which is otherwise sometimes hard in our very busy lives to find the time to get together regularly with friends and have any time to really talk and listen and care for each other. The third win is that our dogs get a great walk too.
I adore my dog, and I firmly believe that you shouldn’t agree to own a dog if you’re not prepared to take the time to walk it. For anyone who is either lonely and/or finds it difficult to motivate themselves to get out of the house and walk, I would always suggest thinking about getting a dog. Then, you have to! You can’t look at those adorable, pleading eyes and not.
This is such a great way to start the day. And, I’m still home by 7 am and energised and ready to get into my work day.”
“This is a very hard one for me as I have said to Jo before, at this time in my recovery it’s either movement of work. So like
JoI try to use my headphones and walk / stretchwhile on lengthy phone calls. I do a 10 minuteyoga stretch routine most days.
The other thing I’ve been “playing” with is an infrared sauna; see pic. It is like exercising because it uses increases your internal temp using infrared wavelength and as such makes you sweet and increases your heart rate. I don not use it specifically for the exercise component but more for the relaxation, pain reduction and detox benefits from all of that beautiful sweating. I use it for 30 minutes 3 – 4 times a week and sit in 50 degree temps. Then
igo for a gentle swim or have showerto help cool down.”
“Movement is life! My day is filled with general movement, between getting to and from appointments, to rest and stretching breaks in between, I don’t feel my normal fluid self without movement.
The most important thing to me is my martial arts. I set aside 3-4 hours a day to train both in the morning and in the evening. Taking a focus on Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, they get me warm, moving, and ready for the day, and help me debrief and relax after a busy one. Something about movement in me creates mindfulness and it is in those moments that I am able to relax and let go of whatever might be distracting me throughout the day.
In terms of helping people move, I help my clients rediscover their functional independence through hands on rehab, and more so for those living with a stroke and TBI. Additionally, I run classes in my academy / dojo to introduce newer people to the foundations of martial arts.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on movement”
“One of the best things I have done as a blind person to improve my movement and activity level was to purchase an Apple Watch. Over time, I have set up the health and Activity Apps to both notify, track and prompt me to maintain a moderate non-excessive or sweaty degree of movement throughout the day.
This includes active exercise of 30 minutes and around 1700 kilojoules of movement and 12 stands across the active day. I can turn off the prompts but have decided that this is counter intuitive and negates any benefits that I had anticipated. The weekly update and challenge is a true “challenge”, I see where I have failed, where I have let myself down.
To achieve my targets, I walk to and from the local Café every day, often extending the movement process by walking around the very large suburban block. It includes hills, obstacles and more. On arrival home, I walk up six flights, past my level 4 penthouse, head off up two more levels and then back down using the steps. Yes, the lift is easier, but this movement contributes to my overall movement targets. I mix the need for movement and activity with the enjoyment of coffee and the sunshine that helps the Vitamin D I absolutely need.
Using Apple Ear Pods, I will often walk around the penthouse whilst on the phone. Occasionally doing housework, preparing meals, just walking the track from one end of the home universe to the other and back. It is the phone call I focus on, but the movement is essential to maintain and improve my health. This has become second nature and is not something I need to plan.
At weekends, movement is enhanced through long walks, often incorporating something local, historical, natural or a combination of the three. It is so much easier to use an App to buy the groceries and wine from Woollies, however, doing smaller shops several more times a week, walking to and from, carrying the items home, walking the long way round to the shops and all that entails, this is the movement and activity regime we maintain without the need for a vehicle.”
“I have a routine with my dog… which was a life saver when I first got him (and continue’s to be) in the fact that he’s needs loads of exercise (at least twice a day).
This get’s me up & out of the house every morning and evening – no matter how tired or late, I’m running! The year I first got him, it rained continuously for about 3 months, so we became adept at wet-weather dressing (overpants, wellie’s, hooded rain jacket) and now we love nothing more than a good long walk in the rain – without getting wet! It’s beautiful and no one else is around, very peaceful.
Dog walking, gardening, dancing and strolling through the bush or a forest is my way to incorporate movement into my everyday.”
Generally in a week, I’ll go to the gym at least 4-5 times, especially on a day I’m not working or at Uni. That is my primary source of movement and exercise, however when working in the cafe, I’m walking (often running) all day as we’re often very busy for 5-8 hours a shift. I tend to need to take a break from movement. But on work-less
days, there are still so many things I do to move more throughout the day. When moving in and about the city, I avoid escalators and elevators (mostly because I don’t think they’re fast enough) and gravitate towards stairs. It’s a great way to get my steps up on my Fitbit!
My tips on moving more throughout the day would be investing the time into a hobby that physically requires you to move. Whether it be Yoga, the Gym or even walking for 45 minutes of a morning. Setting goals is also an amazing way to get more movement, I know the sense of satisfaction I get when my Fitbit flashes and tells me I’ve walked 10,000 steps is super motivating. Even if you’re in an office all day, why not do some crunches or pushups in between calls, or walk around while you’re on the phone?”