This year I adopted a term commonly used by the homeschooling community to describe physical activity breaks for kids: movement snacks. I love the lingo and the concept. We ALL need movement snacks each day to function.
Making time to move your body has the ability to change your entire day.
Not so long ago, human beings didn’t go to the gym to stay strong or run on a treadmill for 30 or 40 minutes going nowhere, in an attempt to maintain good health. Work was laborious and therefore it helped keep muscles strong and bodies fit. So many aspects of the world are changing at an alarming rate and we must do our best to adapt and change with it.
With technological advances the amount of physical labour required has decreased significantly and the amount of sitting we do has significantly increased. I don’t need to beat this point home, you know what I’m talking about. The medical community has even come up with a name to refer to those who sit for prolonged periods of time, the ‘sitting disease.’
I believe there are some simple ways to improve and navigate this ever changing world. I also believe everyone has a choice when it comes to moving or not moving— it just takes some creativity and commitment.
Research states that the average adult living in North American sits for at least 6-7 hours a day. For kids 12-19 that number is even higher at 8-9 hours a day. Considering most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, that leaves 9 hours available for all the ‘other stuff’. Stuff like movement!
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults over 18 get a minimum of 150 minutes of movement each week. That would be approximately 21 minutes a day. Are you meeting that minimum? If so, fantastic! If not, there are simple ways to achieve that goal.
What if I told you that getting creative by making some small changes to your day could have the ability to improve your physical and mental well-being for the better?
Would you make it happen?
I think movement snacks can and should become the ‘new normal’. Not just for the homeschooling kids but for all the people tied to desks and computers, either at home or in the office. Incorporating some very simple changes can have a profound impact on your health and well-being, and that of your families.
Check out these fun and creative ways to get moving.
Movement snacks for home:
- walk around the block
- walk your dog
- play a game of hide and seek with your kids
- do a circuit of body weight exercises for 5 minutes (things like jumping jacks, squats, push-ups or planks)
- put on some music and have a dance party
- walk up and down the stairs in your home or apartment building
- do 5 minutes of stretching or yoga poses
Movement snacks for the office:
- plan a walking meeting with a colleague
- take the stairs as often as you can
- do a circuit of body weight exercises at your desk (squats, lunges, incline push-ups or jog on the spot)
- do 5 minutes of stretches or yoga
- go for a walk during your break (first you must commit and take a break!)
- plan an office flash mob (this could be a great way to start the day)
- get your office team inspired and moving each morning with some simple stretches or exercises
- take transit to work or park farther than usual and walk
- set a timer on your computer to remind you to move at least once each hour
- drink lots of water so you have to use the washroom often which means you have to move more often.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing!
Movement Snacks can be anywhere from 2-10 minutes, are meant to be fun and reenergizing, and they can be spontaneous or planned— it’s totally up to you how you make them happen!
How do you and your families stay active?
Do you want to include this during COVID?