Yeah, yeah I know there is a national day or month for everything, but I still feel obligated to inform you that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (it’s also National Bike Month, so get pedallin’). Most of the National Day celebrations are somewhat pointless, but you’ll be shocked to find out, I find this one rather important. And yet, I’m not seeing many posts on social media celebrating Physical Activity Month. Sure, it’s really hard to compete with the likes of National Donut Day, National Pet Day, Mother’s Day, etc. Regardless, let’s make it a priority to get moving in May! Here are some tips to help you move more this month:
- Schedule it.
We schedule so many aspects of our lives from work to hair appointments to social activities, so why not schedule time to move our bodies as well? Next time you are looking at your calendar, look for time slots to fit in physical activity and make that commitment to yourself to improve your health. I like using Google calendar and setting up reminders for when I will exercise. Here’s the stumbling block though. It’s really easy to just ignore that reminder or tell yourself you will do it later, especially when you aren’t being held accountable. Personally, I hate letting people down and falling through on a commitment, so it helps if someone else is relying on me or expects me to do something. If I have a workout scheduled after work and know that at the end of the day I will probably just want to go home, I will tell someone to ask me if I did the workout. Given my nature, I don’t want to admit that I didn’t follow through on my commitment to my health, so I will likely complete the workout.
2. Break it up.
Research shows that adults should perform at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days (5+) of the week for health benefits. Finding a 30 minute chunk in a jam packed day can turn people away from regularly engaging in physical activity. However, research also shows that breaking the 30 minute bout into three 10 minute sessions throughout the day is just as effective! Fit in some movement right when you get out of bed, go on a walk during lunch or do body weight exercises in your office and end the day by moving during the commercials of your evening TV show.
3. Move throughout the day.
The majority of professions require that we sit, a lot. It’s really easy to get used to that, but our bodies don’t enjoy it. Find ways to move more throughout the day. You may even notice an increase in your energy and productivity! I work in a three story building and my new strategy is to use the restroom on the first floor and take the stairs. You can also set a reminder on your computer to get up every hour, propose walking meetings or walk to your coworkers office instead of calling or emailing them. All the little things add up!
4. Do what you enjoy.
I’m pretty sure I preach this to just about everyone, but please don’t force yourself to do exercise you don’t enjoy. There are SO many ways to move your body. Heck, I just learned foot golf is a new thing! Physical activity is supposed to make us feel good and energized. The more you enjoy it, the more you will look forward to it and maintain these habits long term.
5. Think outside the box.
Let’s all say this together- You don’t have to go to the gym to move your body! Yes, the gym is a great place to exercise, for some people, but it’s not a motivating environment for everyone. Personally, I love it. Guess what the main factor was when I chose the college I would attend? Yep, the gym. That doesn’t mean I always want to exercise there though. Sometimes I just want to be outside and use my bodyweight and park benches for exercise. Other times I don’t even want to deal with people or even put appropriate gym clothes on, so I exercise in my living room in my gross shorts (I sat in wood stain while building a sofa table, so Kevin now refers to them as my poop shorts I should probably throw them away…). Do you live in the frigid cold? Go walk around a mall, do walking lunges and step ups on benches and laugh at all the people wasting money on overpriced clothes #tjmaxxforlife.
6. Involve others
Our social wellness is just as important as our physical wellness. I really enjoy combining the two and getting active with friends. Sure, grabbing a drink is always fun, but why not go on a walk or take a group exercise class together before enjoying a beer? Stream a free yoga class and host yoga and brunch at your house. Play basketball at lunch instead of going out for a heavy meal. Be the friend that suggests social outings that involve a little sweat. One day they will thank you.
I would love to hear how you are going to move more in May! Do you have any strategies that work for you? Share it all in the comment section!