Seven Steps to a More Vibrant, Energized & Replenished YOU

Dr. Heather Lee Farrell’s

Seven Secrets to a Thriving Life!

Secret Six, Part Two

I am resilient, steadfast, and adaptable

Just Enough Movement

A Bit More About Movement…

I discovered that many health issues are improved and sometimes even solved with movement, stillness, and breath. You can’t have one without the other.

They harmonize your body and support you in your life.  These practices are integral to our wellness and healthcare.

Through practice and science, we now know that what’s good for the body is also good for the brain. Regular aerobic exercise and movement boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Strength workouts and brisk walking improve spatial memory.

Movement also initiates changes in body chemistry — decreasing inflammation, decreasing risks of diabetes, and improving digestion. It helps balance all your hormones and releases endorphins, which feel good! And so much more…

Moving increases blood circulation, which creates healthier skin. Also, your metabolic rate can increase with consistent movement, which maintains more lean body mass.

We improve our mood, decrease anxiety, deepen our mind-body connection, and improve our body image and self-esteem through movement.                                       

And of course, if you want deeper sleep or can’t sleep, try to improve your movement and increase physical activity.

This tip is about integrating just enough movement throughout your daily life to build longevity and health. It is not a workout or training-focused tip. (I offer in-depth ideas of how to expand into these areas at in-person events and works and in my program, Movement Matters Program which includes all the latest research in doable ways.)

Super Tips for you:
  • Starting something new takes work and time.
    • Be prepared for having resistance or making excuses.
    • Then decide to do it anyway as it will help you feel good!
    • Know that making change is hard, and that’s okay.

  • Check-in with yourself and what works for you as nobody knows what you need or what your body is asking for more clearly than you do.

  • When you don’t have the time to do deliberate practices, remember to scale down, not stop completely.

  • Consider beginning each activity with a simple paused focus on your breath. I find that this offers me more clarity and focus on process and purpose.

  • If you can move outside, all the better!
    • Time in nature improves mood and supports immune-boosting vitamin D production.

  • Any activity or movement that you can add to your day outside of the gym or structured workouts can help you in the long run.

  • Add more hydration to your day by taking a water break every hour when you’re sitting all day. Then, on your way to getting yourself water, shake out your body, stretch or do walking lunges!

  • If you do focused, specific types of movement each day, change it up a bit. This tip is all about adding in practical, healthy movement breaks that benefit mind and body.
Some Movement Ideas:
  • Take a break and try these:
    • walk around, bend forward
    • reach upward and overhead
    • stretch your upper back
    • do a seated or standing spinal twist
    • do jumping jacks
    • squats
    • lunge walking
  • Mix-It-Up:
    • If my tasks are more stationary or sedentary, I add in movement or different positions. They could be labeled, but I just call it movement. Keeping it simple!
    • Definitely, If you sit most of the day or are standing or in one position: take a movement break each day.
    • If I am moving all day, I will try to add in some practical, natural movements that help my body feel better while I am moving all day.
  • Move Your Eyes! Take an Eye Movement Break:  We don’t often think of exercising our eyes–but it matters too! Take an eye break during your day. How? 
    • Fully relax your eyes, then focus on something quite far away as possible. Not just across the room but farther away.
  • Short Workouts!
    • You can do extremely beneficial workouts in a short time AND using bodyweight or what you have on hand. Try it?!
  • Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (or NEAT) are all the things that burn energy that aren’t technically exercise. Examples of these movements are:
    • Walking around the grocery store, doing yard work, and even subtle activities like gesturing when you talk or tapping your feet.
Movement and Workspaces:

Make your work time and space more dynamic and movement rich. How? Here are two ideas:

  • Have a few areas or stations you cycle through using during the day.
    • They can be floor-based, standing, sitting in different positions, working in a lunge position, etc.

  • Sit on a Fit Ball instead of a rigid chair.
    • If you do, your body does “micro-movements” and minor postural adjustments while you’re sitting to keep your body stabilized. It is easy to do and adds up over time to produce a significant impact.
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