Does a Little Exercise Make a Difference?
I'm a big believer in the power of little bits or bites of exercise spread throughout the day.
Ten to 15 minutes of gentle stretching in the morning, 15 to 20 minute walks once or twice a day, 2 to 3 minute movement breaks after an hour or so of sitting at the computer. It all adds up. And the research agrees. Vary small amounts of Exercise Can Reap Huge Benefits.
It's the only approach that has worked for me long term.
Here is a simple practice from Jen Hoffman at healthymoving.com designed to help ease neck and shoulder tension and make your morning routine more efficient and peaceful.
Try it and experience the power of super simple changes that can kick start your day!
2 Minutes of Movement Designed to Kick Start Your Day Video
Note: The actual exercise begins 8:40 into the video, if you are in a hurry!
Many readers have shared that one of their biggest struggles is committing to exercise. I totally get it. The reason we struggle? Unrealistic expectations. Setting the bar too high. Trying to do too much too fast. Thinking that anything less than 30 to 60 minutes isn't worth it.
The truth is that every little bit counts. The best way to start is with teeny, tiny increments, using the Tiny Habits approach. It has worked for me and I know it can work for you.
The Benefits of Small Amounts of Exercise
Helpful notes from this video:
- A simple practice for starting your day - 2 minutes that are powerful and will help your entire day go more smoothly. (found at 8:40 or video)
- So many of us have a roadblock that we don't have time for exercise or self care. We are too busy and in response mode. Many of us share this challenge.
- If you feel like you don't have time for self care and are being responsive in life rather than proactive.
- We have to shift our thinking first.
- Jen is interested in physical benefits of movement but more importantly learning from our bodies and forming lasting habits.
- When we are saying, "I don't have time for exercise," "I don't have time for self care," That exercise is really great but I know myself and I am not going to do it." We are engaging in negative talk that prevents us from making progress.
- There are two things at the root of that belief that keep us stuck and not improving our health and wellbeing.
The first thought is that there is no power in a little piece, we have to be able to do the whole thing. We need to discover that there is power in taking little steps even when we don't have big chunks of time, the little steps matter. Every step you take moves you closer toward the goal.
- We need to retrain our brain. Let us pretend that you are in the desert without food, without water. You come across 4 sips of water. Would you not drink the 4 sips of water because it is not enough to fully quench your thirst and rehydrate yourself? No, of course you would take the sips.
- That is how you have to think of exercise. Every movement helps even when you don't have time for a full workout. It all adds up. It all matters. Take the small bits where you can get them.
- The second belief that keeps us stuck is a lack of awareness of the full benefit of what it is we are choosing to do. You are saying that something else is more important. We are really narrow in how we think of movement and how it benefits us.
- What is the benefit of exercise?
- Most of us will list a bunch of physical stuff like lose weight, improve my heart fitness.
- There are tons of benefits to beyond the strictly physical. One of the other benefits of movement it helps us be more relaxed, more focused, efficient and that happens immediately.
- Here is the challenge. Take a small step and experience the other benefits.
- Commit to doing this movement for the next 5 days first thing.
- You can do it seated on the side of your bed.
- Start your day with this exercise for the next 5 to 7 days.
- How did it feel?
- Did your morning go more smoothly.
- One client found that this exercise resulted in her getting to work 10 minutes earlier each day she did it.
- The exercise is called elbow touch and begins at the 9:00 minute mark of this video.
- This movement can help relieve tension in the neck and help increase blood flow to the brain helping us to relax and get centered.
More Help for Incorporating Mini Workouts into Your Day
- Tiny Bites of Exercise
- 30 Minute Yoga Practice to Increase Energy
- Easy Yoga Poses to Counter the Effects of Too Much Sitting
- Take a Short Breather
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