Choose to Move! Everything Counts!
Moving throughout the day helps your mind and body feel great. Let's discover “opportunities to move” (OTMs).* Every day offers nuggets of time you can creatively integrate movement into your busy life that does not require you to spend hours at the gym. To jump start your ideas, we’ve provided fun, enjoyable ways to get started below. When everything counts, you may be surprised how quickly each OTM adds up.
Always remember to listen to your body. If any movement is causing pain or unusual discomfort, trust your body’s signal and stop. Also, make sure the space you are in is clear for movement.
*The phrase Opportunities to Move was coined by Michelle Segar, PhD, in her book No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.
Move While You Talk
Who said you have to talk on the phone with family, friends, or colleagues while staying in one place? Phone calls are a great way to keep in touch with people you care about or to brainstorm with your work team while moving! Today, plan one or more phone chats and take a lap around the block. Or, try some wrist circles, workstation movements, or squeeze a stress ball while you chat. You may be surprised how many minutes fly by!
Take the Long Cut
We’ve all heard of taking “short cuts” — allow yourself an opportunity to move (OTM) by taking the long way. Check out the ideas below, or make up your own.
- Instead of making a beeline to the kitchen for lunch, switch it up and make a lap around your home/building first
- Next time you are in a car, park farther away if possible
- Go to another floor of your house or building to use the restroom, or use a restroom farther away
- Make the most of grabbing groceries when you get home — grab a few and go back for more rounds
- Laundry relay! Take your time putting laundry away — grab a handful of items and go back for round 2 or three
Refill Your Water Bottle
Filling your water bottle or glass with fresh water throughout the day is an opportunity to move. Staying hydrated also helps your brain and body function properly. Keep your glass or water bottle by your side as your personal reminder to stay hydrated and move more. Check out Healthy IU’s hydration resources.
According to the CDC, when it comes to physical activity, having a buddy helps you feel more motivated, makes it easier to try new things, and helps you be more consistent. Get the benefits of social support with a Movement Buddy. Ask a coworker or family member to take a lap around the block or try some desk/workstation movements with you today. Not physically near someone? Talk on the phone while you walk or wheel for part of your lunch break, or add some workstation movements to the beginning of your next Zoom meeting. The idea you think of will be the best one.
Give yourself the gift of movement whenever you need it. Dance or air guitar to your favorite song after you complete a task, take a quick lap around your house or building when you need to re-energize, breath mindfully while you stretch if you’re feeling overwhelmed. A little bit goes a long way.
- Moving More at Work and Home: Find creative options on how to incorporate activity breaks into sedentary time at work and at home.
- A Little Bit Goes a Long Way: When it comes to physical activity, start where you are, and feel great about it! Something is always better than nothing.
- Get Outside and Play: Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. If you’re able, take a few minutes to get active outdoors. Here are some tips for staying active in cold weather.