This has to be one of the most common questions I get as a health coach.  With how we live our lives today, many people have desk jobs.  I did/do too.  Yet, with some creative, child-like thinking, some motivation to try and a little organization, you can find some ways to fit in some movement throughout your day.

The bonus to do this… you will feel so much better, physically and mentally, but you will also find that you feel more alert, focused, productive and have more resiliency and mental agility during your workday.  When you move a stagnant body, you move energy.  That moves the stagnant energy, but also moves the blood flow to your extremities, but most importantly, to your brain. This is where you see it the most, especially when you’re working.

You know you have felt this before.  After a good workout, activity, long walk or even just gardening, you feel energized, refreshed and alert!

You can do small simple things to get this affect, even during your busy work day.

Here are my top 3 favorite tactics…

  1. Call on your inner child-like mindset!   If you were ever a kid (LOL), you know you loved to MOVE!  Sometimes you may not have been one to sit still at all!  You got bored with just sitting around.  Well… the same thing is happening now.  That may be why you want to take a nap at work.  Your body naturally wants to move!

Instead, use that inner child to find ways for you to move during the day.
And just like a kid, make it fun!

Tip:  If you have a friend at work that would be willing to do this with you, that’s even better!  Accountability Buddies rock… and they add more fun to the mix!

Here are some examples:

  • Got 1 minute before the next Zoom call? Dance like no body is watching! Turn on your favorite tunes and live it up for ONE WHOLE MINUTE!
  • Act like it’s 8th grade gym class and do 5 reps of your favorite no-equipment exercises. (yeah, I bet burpees isn’t on that list, is it?) i.e. jumping jacks (or stepping jacks), plank for 15 seconds, squats (try to do 10), leg lifts (lay on floor and lift both legs).
  • “Word of the Day” counting. Ever go into meetings and the same “catch words” get said over and over?  Well, count them during the meeting (it will actually help you concentrate too).  Then after the meeting, you do one exercise of choice for that many reps OR minutes.  So, if you counted 10 times the word was said, then you walk around your kitchen island 10 times or have to complete 10 minutes of walking throughout the day.

See how this can be fun, creative and even MORE fun when you have a buddy to do it with?

Work doesn’t need to be boring!

  1. Schedule it! Yes, even if it’s only for 1 minute, schedule the time on your calendar.  But the trick is, you need to stick to it!  This is where your buddy comes in REALLY handy!

So right now, look at your calendar.  Find places during the day to make your “Movement Minute”.

I dare you to make it a repeating invite on your calendar! 😉

Then, get out a large post-it, make a brainstormed list of things you can do in that minute. Post it on your computer monitor.

When that Minute comes up, just pick from the list! Don’t overthink it.

Tip:  For people managers out there… if you do this, make it known with your team. Not only can you ask them to support you from scheduling over this sacred time, but they may want to do it with you! You will influence them in such a positive way and drive up team morale too!  There’s nothing better than that! Use a team group chat to communicate what each person is doing for their “Movement Minute”.

  1. If anything, STAND! You may not have a standing desk, but if you have a meeting that you need to attend, but not be on camera, then at least challenge yourself to stand for that whole meeting.  Most often when we at least stand, we are moving our legs, getting blood to flow and putting our body in it’s most natural and desirable position!

I call this “habit stacking”… do something ON TOP OF something that already happens in your day.

And better yet, if you can stand WHILE being on camera, do it!  You will inspire others to make healthy habits!

Now, I have a real-life story to share with you…

I had a client named Tim.  (He gave me permission to share his story.) He was a long haul truck driver.  With that type of job, it’s so much like a desk job.  He would sit for hours continuously driving across the country.  This took a toll on Tim to the point that he gained over 80lbs of weight, had little energy and didn’t move much.

When Tim got this “wake-up call”, we started working together.  When it came to movement, it was hard for him to figure out what he could do in a job like this.  So, one thing we did in our coaching session was to understand what his typical day looked like, and brainstormed ways he could incorporate movement on his routes.

Guess what?  Here is what he did…

Every time he stopped at a rest stop, and before he could get back into his truck, he would have to walk around his entire truck multiple times!  He started out just doing it a couple times, but now he’s doing it every time, most often walking MILES every day.

He found that he felt more alert and energized.  He kept doing it and besides the other lifestyle changes he made, he started to see the weight come off!  (Plus, who doesn’t like a healthier and more alert truck driver on the road!?)

It was so much easier than he expected!  And he wasn’t even stepping foot into a gym!

This new habit turned into him getting some small hand weights for his truck.  While he was driving, he would be lifting those hand weights in one of his other hands (depending on which one was on the wheel).  Just from this light movement with weights, he noticed his arms were getting stronger!

It was two small and simple things to incorporate that made a huge impact… and not just on his body, but his mind and energy levels too!

The simple changes were the catalyst to more and more… and they added up!

That’s how it works!

Start from where you are.
Life is short.  Make it fun.
Don’t overcomplicate it.

What action are you going to take right now?
1.  Write down your list of fun movement.
2.  Look at your schedule and book your “Movement Minutes”.
3.  Review your calendar for meetings where you can stand.
4.  Find an Accountability Buddy!
5.  Tell your team what you are doing.

If you do take action from this blog post, please email me at support@librahealthcoach.com and share your story!  No matter how small of a step you took!

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