Movement is so much more than just movement! It’s a creativity hack, a mindfulness boost, a solution finder. It can also have an immediate impact on how we think and feel.
We know so much more now about the importance of movement in our everyday lives. Yet it’s easy to get bogged down and forget to move! So we’ve put together 6 ways to add more movement into your everyday:
1. Stand up
Here’s a simple one. Whenever you notice you’ve not moved for a while, simply stand up with both feet firmly on the floor. Who knew, but our feet come with inbuilt ‘pressure sensors’. It means that when we stand up, a rush of blood is sent from our heart to our brain! Imagine that – standing up could help with clearer thinking. Want to solve a problem? Stand up!
2. Jump up (and land lightly)
A couple of springy jumps in the kitchen after feeling stuck with something and you’ll be in solutions mode soon enough! Springing like a gazelle – with explosive energy, while landing lightly – helps “make for healthier connective tissue, which can feed into an overall sense of physical and mental mastery” (Move!* p79).
3. Play catch
Grab a ball or an orange and either do some throws by yourself or invite someone to play catch with you. It’s movement, it’s connection, it’s joy and laughter. Throwing something is also a great way to release a bit of stress, plus you get in-built satisfaction from aiming successfully at a target, so it’s win-win.
4. Feel it
You’re moving all the time, but are you noticing it? Add more movement by noticing more of what you’re already doing. Whether it’s carrying the bags back from the shopping, lifting books up onto the shelf, or pottering in the garden, feel it from the inside. “Research is starting to reveal that moving while focusing on the body provides many of the same benefits as high-intensity exercise” (Move!* p195).
5. Do a little dance
Switch on a favourite song. Sway, wiggle, smile and giggle. Dance during household chores, add a shimmy to your wander. If you can’t because it’s a bit too public, even just nodding your head to the rhythm of the world around you is all good.
6. Go for a wander
Movement (and stillness) are at the heart of Street Wisdom, the everyday creative practice that you add to your walk. It’s a whole-body, whole-mind approach to walking with curiosity and wonder. Move towards what draws your attention. Follow your enthusiasm. Take inspiration from the world around you to move freely. It’s possibly one of the simplest way to add more movement to your day. Go for a wander, take our Tune Ups (Spotify) with you and go from there.
Inspired? Street Wisdom is all about finding better ways. Join a Walkshop near you, or head out for your own wander right now with our Tune Ups.
* We’ve written this article inspired by Caroline Williams’s amazing new book, Move!: The New Science of Body Over Mind (Profile Books), and Anat Baniel’s Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality (Random House).