Forget About Exercise for New Year’s Resolutions: Focus on Movement

Senior woman doing yoga in her living room

 

What’s your first reaction when you hear the word exercise? For many, it can bring up thoughts of something they have to do. Now compare that with hearing the word movement. There’s a word that doesn’t come with all the baggage of something repetitive you do for a certain amount of time. Movement sounds like you’re accomplishing things. When it comes to movement vs. exercise, more people are seeing the benefit of moving throughout the day rather than focusing on a specific fitness routine. Staying active throughout the day can help your body stay limber, energized and strong. 

If you’re someone who likes to make New Year’s resolutions, now’s the perfect time to consider how you can add more movement as a natural part of your daily routine.  

 

How to Get More Movement in Your Day

There are some simple ways you can add more movement to your day. All these are things you probably already do, but with just a few tweaks, you can add that little extra that will have you feeling great.

  • Last spot: Parking far from the front of the store gives you a nice walk across the parking lot and, if you park closer to the exit, you’ll be able to leave more easily.
  • Chore workout: Cleaning the kitchen, carrying out the trash, collecting laundry, scrubbing the tub, sweeping and mopping are all opportunities to be more physically active.
  • Home gym: Use items around your house for short workout breaks. Canned goods can be hand weights. Do modified pushups or planks on the counter. Use the stairs for step-ups and balance work. A few laps around your home can add up to a few minutes of movement
  • Active cooking: There’s nothing like trying out a new or complex recipe as a way to stay on your feet and keep your body moving. Plus, at the end of it all, you have something good (and hopefully healthy) to eat.
  • Feets of strength: You have 33 joints in each foot, so it’s important to work them out. For example, you can build stability in your ankles by doing standing heel lifts. For better balance, try standing on one leg while you put on your socks. You can even try picking things up with your toes for extra foot mobility.
  • Think opposites: Brush your teeth or drink a glass of water with your nondominant hand. Doing almost anything with your nondominant hand feels weird, but it’s a good workout for your brain. 
  • Dressed and stretched: Exaggerate your movements as you get dressed. Bend down to touch your toes before stepping into your pant legs. Stretch your arms overhead as high as possible while you pull your shirt over your head. These little stretches will feel really good and are a great way to start the day.
  • Like a good neighbor: Helping your neighbors is a really fun and interesting way to get moving and socialize. 
  • Be breathing aware: If you’re on a walk, pay attention to your breathing. Is your breathing shallow, or are you taking deep breaths? Just notice what’s going on. Then, try focusing on inhaling for four seconds, holding it for four seconds, then exhaling for four seconds, then holding it for four seconds and so on, until you reach a certain landmark. See how your body feels when you focus on your breath.

 

For Healthy Aging, Make the Move to Freedom Plaza

Regardless of whether you like traditional exercise or just want to add more movement to your life, Freedom Plaza has something for everyone. Our community features a swimming pool and a fitness center. Plus, we also offer a variety of ways to get out and about from volunteering to an 18-hole golf course, pickleball courts, gardening and more. To learn about our lifestyle and all the ways we can help you live healthier and happier, contact us here.