On days that I don’t go outside for a run or walk, I sometimes barely do 2,000 steps! I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but with no commute and no in-person social engagements, my life is pretty much confined to my 700 sq ft apartment (aka, a teeny tiny small apartment).
On days I know I’m not running or going outside for a 5K+ walk, I try to incorporate movement into my daily routine to help me move and stretch a little more.
I’m not saying I’m an expert here and that I do all of this every single opportunity I get. There are definitely times I just wanna sit on my butt and watch YouTube (did you know I have a channel?), but I wanted to share with you the strategies I try to incorporate as they can really help with my mental health during this challenging time (at the time of writing this, Toronto is in a ‘stay-at-home’ lockdown).
- When doing a Zoom/Skype/FaceTime call, if I don’t NEED to have my camera on, then I’ll keep it off and I will march on the spot, I will do lunges, I will do squats, I will dance around – I will do anything that keeps my body moving and not sitting in my chair for longer than I need to. There have been a few times where I have been on a call with clients or friends, and they’ve been totally cool with me having my camera on, chatting to them, and marching on the spot. After one lengthy call with a friend, I had done over 15,000 steps on that call alone (taking me to over 30,000 steps that day)!
- I used to pile up random objects in a basket that needed to be put away in another room; this saved me time so I wasn’t running back and forth from room to room putting one thing away at a time. But given today’s situation, I’ve gotten rid of that basket and now move around my apartment putting one thing away at a time. Now sure, some could argue that this is a waste of time and they’d rather do everything in one go, but for me, this is an opportunity to move around more, even if it’s just getting me a few hundred extra steps.
- I have a lot of back-to-back calls throughout the day. Where possible I try to leave 5/10 minutes between meetings so I can grab a top up of my water, nip to the washroom and have a quick dance party! I put on a favourite song, and dance with all my might for those 2-3 minutes until the song finishes. Not only does the song bring me joy, make me happy and lift my mood, but it also reduces fatigue and stress levels.
- Pre-covid my preference was working out first thing, as I felt it really set me up for success for the day. Over the past year I’ve gravitated more towards the 5pm time slot to give me that separation between working hours and personal hours. Taking 30-60 minutes at that time, Monday-Friday really helps me to shake off any stresses and allows me to relax. This time is non-negotiable for me. It’s in my calendar and no matter what, I will do some form of movement – whether that is a walk, run, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or yoga.
How do you incorporate additional movement into your day?
HELLO, I’m Gillian, a running and nutrition coach based in Toronto, Canada. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, it really means a lot to me. If you are interested, I have MORE:
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