Upon hearing the words ‘Daily Movement Regime’, your first reaction might easily be skepticism. We move everyday right? Sure, we do. But are we moving enough? And are we moving in the right ways?
This was a pertinent question even before 2020 and 2021, with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Lockdown to combat it, it has only become more pertinent!
Over Lockdown, large swathes of the population had their routines altered. At the time of writing, many of them still have routines unrecognisable from how they were in 2019.
But as the prospect of society re-opening and shifting to more resemble how it was ‘before’, we have decided to put together a brief article detailing how you can construct a Daily Movement Regime to get yourself ready for a more active life slowly and without the risk of injury.
What is a Daily Movement Regime
So, the good news is that our remit and mission statement is broad. A Daily Movement Regime is a way to standardise and study how much you move in a day, how you could move more and do low intensity, high impact movements like stretching and walking to improve your body.
As the title of this blog implies, if you don’t use it, you lose it, and over Lockdown many people stopped ‘using it’.
And as such, it is time to get back into the habit of using it.
We will be looking specifically at a Daily Movement Regime through the lens of Lockdown, Working From Home, and Lockdown easing. But of course, if that is all a distant memory by the time you read this, it will still be useful!
Are you working from home, then congratulations! You’ve just identified a portion of time you have now that you didn’t have in 2019.
Take the time you spent commuting to work (or round it up to ten minutes if you happen to live right next to your work) and use the time you would’ve spent getting ready in the morning to get moving.
This could be the stretches we are going to look into shortly, or it could be a ‘fake commute’. Walking 10/20 minutes in your local area early in the morning. Not only is this a positive way to start the day, it also sets the tone nicely.
Get Moving to Music
Speaking of a commute. What commute wouldn’t be complete without music?
This doesn’t just go for your walks either. Swapping out a Podcast, an Audiobook or the Television during work hours for some energetic music will help.
Renowned good-time guy, Friedrich Nietzsche once said that ‘we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once’ and we think on at least this count, he was on the money.
Dancing is an incredibly beneficial act, not only physically but psychologically. Find a song you love, and as Mark Twain said, dance like nobody’s watching. (And then pray no-one is actually watching).
Move whilst at your Desk
You needn’t even get up to dance or stretch.
There are stretches and exercises that can be done at your desk, during a meeting or just when you have a few minutes between calls or projects.
Shoulder rolls, wrist exercises, arm stretches, breathing exercises and neck movements are all possible whilst sitting down and can make you feel limber after only a few minutes.
Consider investing in a Wireless Headset if you find yourself the recipient of endless Zoom invites.
This will allow you to contribute to the conversation while getting away from your desk. Look into low energy exercises you can do whilst talking about Q3 and suddenly you’ll be turning boring meeting time into Yoga time. Result.
This also applies to the much more tried and tested ‘standing up during work phone calls’.
Providing you don’t need to be at your workstation, a phone call is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, arms and anything else that we have covered.
If you don’t fancy leaving the house on your morning commute. There are a variety of free Yoga Apps that will act as an instructor for you and take into account the amount of space you may or may not have.
These apps can be perfect for brief, 5 minute exercises during a down-moment at work.
Yoga is calming and centring, so it will also, if done correctly, benefit your productivity as well as your bodily health.
Research a Routine that works for you and mix it up:
Lastly, be on the lookout for new stretches and always be open to adding new exercises to your routine.
As we mentioned, Yoga Apps will be a great fountain of ideas. As will YouTube videos.
We already covered some basic workouts above but don’t be afraid to write out your own list.
In his autobiography, Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about how he always found the most effective exercise regimes were when he was mixing up the order in which he did his exercises every day.
This can be valuable for creating an energy to your stretches that isn’t just the same 5 exercises every day.
Step it up
Once you’ve been doing a Daily Movement Regime for a while, start to incorporate more strenuous exercises in there that can still be done at a moment’s notice but with little preparation. A few sit-ups, a few push-ups mid-way through stretching will be a good start.
Make sure you stretch enough beforehand to warm up your muscles though, don’t go cold into a set of push-ups unless you know what you are doing.
If you have stairs in your house or flat, doing incline push-ups or ‘stair’ push-ups is an easy gateway into a higher level of fitness and muscle development.
Good Luck in forming this great new habit and routine
Now the only thing left to do is incorporate this way of thinking into your day to day life while working from home.
Working from home quite literally allows us a scope for freedom of movement that we just weren’t allowed in most offices, and it is time to take full advantage of that. If you are worried you won’t be able to retain the information we’ve covered, either make a note of it or bookmark the page.
Consider creating a folder or playlist of YouTube Videos, Apps and Blogs that have contained exercises and routines that look promising. The less of a barrier there is between you and this knowledge, the more likely you are to effect changes that will matter in your life.
Thank you for reading and good luck!