Being physically active doesn't have to include running a certain number of kilometers or doing a weight training session. It can be as simple as taking a few trips from your home to the car to carry your groceries!
The All-or-Nothing Mindset
Some people feel that if they don't go to the gym a certain number of times a week or if they don't finish their workout in a sweat, it doesn't count. It's an all-or-nothing attitude. There is a certain pressure associated with physical activity. However, we often forget that minutes add up. 10 minutes of walking? That's over 40 hours of physical activity per year! Every minute counts, and we shouldn't be discouraged if we move less than we think we should. Moving for as little as 2 minutes a day can even reduce neck pain!
Replace Exercise with Movement
Although it may seem surprising, there is a difference between exercising (or working out) and moving. For many, exercising is a chore, an obligation. But moving is more intuitive. We do it every day without even realizing it. By changing the way we perceive our movements, we remove the guilt that can be associated with it. Moving is not just about burning calories, it's about taking care of yourself and having fun without any obligation! This concept of intuitive movement is similar to the intuitive eating approach we encourage in our practice. Our team of dietitians can guide you through this learning process.
Misunderstanding the Recommendations
According to Health Canada, we should move 2.5 hours per week. If we do our math, that's about 30 minutes a day (including 2 days off). So you don't have to be physically active every day to feel the benefits of physical activity! And that 30 minutes a day can be split up: 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Again, you don't have to sweat a lot or run a certain number of miles to make it count. Moving shouldn't be based on rigid rules!
Ideas for Moving Without Training
Here's a list of activities that include movement and get us moving, without us even realizing it. You don't even have to wear your gym kit or even be out of breath!
- Rake leaves on your lawn
- Carrying groceries from the car to the house
- Dancing with your kids on a Sunday morning in the living room
- Taking the stairs
- Walking the dog
- Sweeping (yes, cleaning is a sport!)