As we become older and our responsibilities increase - work, family, chores, life admin - it becomes more and more difficult to dedicate time every day to a specific movement practice. Even as someone who values movement highly, I still find that at least one day a week there simply isn't time.
Although the time excuse is well-worn (and often chastised by myself), I completely understand that life sometimes just gets in the way. There's an important difference between saying you have no time and spending it doing unproductive or unhelpful things, versus saying you have no time when it's spent with family, on work, personal development or whatever else.
Ultimately we make time for the things we value most, but when life gets busy, how can we compensate for that?
One of my guiding principles is to move naturally, often. I've always considered this important, but moving into my thirties, having a young family and a busy schedule further emphasised the significance of this everyday, habitual behaviour.
Your body is built to move - we are not designed to be sedentary. What are our limbs, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints made for if not to move?
Our bodies are not capable of such physical capabilities for the purpose of not utilising them. We are nomadic beings - evolved to walk great distances, forage, hunt, play, innovate, build...
And moving naturally, often doesn't mean 'exercise'. Clearly, our ancient ancestors weren't doing Zumba. Furthermore, most of the oldest people in the world have never 'exercised'. They simply maintain an active life - through walking, tending to the garden, cooking, cleaning, staying busy, playing with their offspring, dancing...
Here are three ways you can adopt that behaviour and make it a (hugely beneficial) part of your life you barely have to consciously consider:
Walk from A-B
Walk practical distances rather than taking your car or public transport. Walk unpractical distances if you wish.
Don't Sit When You Don't Have To
Take meetings, phone calls, podcasts and thinking time whilst on the move. Walking is one of the best ways to brainstorm and generate creative ideas. You can record voice memos on your phone to keep a record.
Move Every Way You Can Think, Every Day
Practice a full-body mobility routine every day, if possible immediately after waking. It doesn't have to be long, difficult or complicated - look to move your body parts in all the ways they are capable of.
The fundamental principle of all physical and mental progression applies here - you are telling your body, "this movement is required, so keep it accessible to me and let me in a little more next time".
As the saying goes, "use it or lose it".
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