What is exercise? A simple question and the simple answer is exercise is any activity…anything that makes the body move. But a large number of people put it in the formal mode such as within the confines of a gym, or running. Formal exercise has been around for a very long time and it was mostly designed around training for war and other modes of survival. Some of our ancient societies made it an art form and held various forms of spectator sports to demonstrate physical prowess but the point I want to push home is that we need to exercise if we want to stay healthy.
The best form of physical exercise is when physical movement occurs throughout the day and should not be confined to a specific period of time or a particular mode of movement. Most jobs these days entail very little movement and long periods of immobility in the seated posture. I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs of this fact here but it is a fact. If you want to produce better results in whatever career you have chosen you should factor in periods of activity throughout your day…even if it is short walks away from your work station, changing the pattern of your commute to and from work and/or making various modes of movement part of your life away from work. I reiterate: if you desire great health, our bodies were designed to move, so for a better quality of life…move.
I can think of a great example of the fact that any physical movement is exercise is when one young woman I had not seen for a period of time turned up to complete a physical test I was conducting and her physical transformation was very evident. I asked her what she had been doing to make this change and she embarrassingly told me that she had neither dieted or gone to the gym. When I exclaimed ‘You must have been doing something?’ She replied that her husband and she had been doing competition ballroom dancing. Then she added, ‘But that’s not exercise.’ Interesting how different people see life?
Exercise is any mode of physical activity and it doesn’t matter as to whether it is part of your everyday activity or part of your modes of movement within your workplace, as long as you move your body it is exercise!
One of the best modes of movement is walking in that it doesn’t place any great stresses on your body and is easy to add to your normal day. Another mode that helps you build strength and maintain your mobility is the various modes of movement you can do within a short period of time and a small space such as Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi etcétera. For some people they feel the need to attach their physical activity to some form of competitive team sport where other people prefer to either exercise by themselves or use their housework and gardening as part of the daily movement. It doesn’t matter, as long as movement is part of your existence.
So some important points…
- If you aren’t getting enough movement throughout you day, add in short periods of movement that fits into your daily patterns.
- Understand that the first 90 minutes of your time at work are when you are at your most effective so use that time to best advantage by producing most of your work then, then routinely split the rest of your working day into work time and movement time.
- To do this remember that it takes 66 days to develop new habits so you have to work at this psychologically to change anything you desire to change.
- Do movements that not only fit into your normal day but also that you enjoy doing.
- Be specific about what you want to achieve.
- You will know as to whether the changes you have made to your daily movement patterns are working by how you feel!
Most things work as long as you do.