Moving Out of the (Exercise) Box

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If you have ever been around young children, you know that they rarely sit still. Children are constantly in motion, exploring their environment and physical possibilities.

In a child’s world playtime = movement…lots of it.

Aside from a few guidelines (like…no, you can’t use the rocking chair as a catapult for your baby sister), there really are no rules to a child’s movement execution and they certainly do not seek permission from anyone on the appropriate mechanics or best “systems” for movement practice.

Children look at movement as a “get to” because it is fun, creative and engaging. Adults look at movement as a “have to” because they have made it such a complex thing with the systems, rules, equipment, and athletic apparel. Is it really any wonder that there is so much resistance around it doing it consistently?

I have literally had women tell me over the years that they just weren’t movers…it wasn’t their thing. Which it laughable…really. If you are human…you are a mover.

Watch children…they move constantly. Liam can’t sit still.

MOVING Out of the (Exercise) BoxAt what point along the timeline of growing up did you decide to put movement in a pretty little box called “exercise” that you begrudgingly force yourself to do for an hour or so several times a week only under the guidance of an “expert”, and most often in a gym or a studio setting?

I mean no disrespect to the fitness industry here, or those who work in it (I have been working in the industry for nearly 20 years). But I do think the industry has played a role in creating some false beliefs about what movement is and we have allowed those beliefs to rob us of the simplicity of incorporating more movement into our daily life.

Instructors and classes can be instrumental in helping us to break bad habits, build effective programming for specific goals, or to reach goals more efficiently, but “exercise” is not the end-all-be-all to movement….not by a long shot.

According to the beloved bio-mechanist, Katie Bowman, “People have not exercised throughout history. Exercise is the modern man’s equivalent to nutritional supplements. In the same way supplements should not be bulk of your diet, exercise should not be the bulk of your movement profile.”

The bottom line… we should be moving a LOT throughout the day if we really want to stay healthy. And the honest truth is… You don’t need a gym. You don’t need an instructor. You don’t need a fancy pair of shoes or a yoga mat to MOVE your body. You don’t need a laundry list of principals to abide by and you certainly don’t need permission from anyone other than yourself.

Movement is your nature and your birthright. You need a lot of it to thrive and bring out your happy… just like when you were a kid.

If you really want to be healthy, respecting the needs of your body is a must. And your body needs to MOVE.

Let’s face it…

We live in the age of convenience that hasn’t been all that convenient for our body’s movement appetite.

I mean, you can order everything you could ever want online, have your groceries delivered, your dogs walked, your car washed, and your house cleaned without ever getting off your butt!

When it comes to health, modern-day conveniences have not created a life of ease. It has actually created a life of dis-ease.

I am sorry but even if you are are going to the gym before or after work, you are still not giving your body the movement dosage it craves.


The fitness industry has made exercise very, very complicated. So complicated, in fact, that many women I coach have fierce resistance to it, even though they understand the importance of it.

What if the secret to feeling better fast physically, emotionally, and mentally wasn’t about the latest and greatest exercise system that the fitness industry has conjured up but rather about moving your body more consistently throughout the day?

In the Podcast I did a while back on Metabolism 101, I explained the things that contribute to your overall metabolic power.

Non-exercise related thermogenesis (N.E.A.T.) is the energy your body expends to perform activities of daily living, not including “exercise”: standing, walking, bending…moving.

So the logic here is simple… by moving more throughout the day, you will expend more energy and also…

  • Lubricate your joints
  • Build more muscle
  • Stimulate the feel-good hormones
  • Increase your energy
  • Build confidence to take on more complex movements (like “exercise”)

Non-exercise related activity can account for up to 50% of the daily energy expenditure in a highly active individual! 50%!!!!

Health isn’t spending an hour of your day in a brutal bootcamp class and then sitting on your tush for the next 12 hours.

Health is about moving your body often and much throughout the day because that is what it is was designed to do and that is what it DESERVES!

Some ideas to get you rolling:

  • Walk to the grocery store with a backpack to put your groceries in and carry home.
  • Bike to work.
  • Dance while you are cooking dinner.
  • Stand during your meetings rather than sitting.
  • Squat while you fold your laundry.
  • Hang on the monkey bars the next time you walk past a playground. Heck…go down the slide!
  • Practice getting up more and sitting down less.
  • Lift things.
  • Carry things in from your car one by one, rather than all 50 at once.
  • Stretch whenever you can.
  • Play.
  • Meet friends for an active occasion like swimming, kayaking or a game of volleyball (rather than just another night out to dinner)
  • Clean your house, plant a garden, or do yard work knowing your physiology is reaping rewards in the process.

You should be incorporating a ton of non-exercise related movement into your day to give your body all of the movement nutrition it truly needs and deserves.

So what the heck does that look like?

Well,… it might look like:

  • Standing at work rather than sitting.
  • Hanging from things when you can
  • Walking as you talk (be it on the phone or having a meeting).
  • Squatting as you read a book or reply to emails or fold laundry.
  • Parking in the spot furthest away from the entrance rather than the closest.
  • Walking or biking rather than driving whenever possible.
  • Carrying your little one on you, rather than pushing than in a stroller.
  • Feeling the grass between your toes more often.
  • Dancing.
  • Having a picnic on the living room floor.
  • Going to a playground to PLAY with your children rather than observe them.
  • Carry things in from your car one by one, rather than all 50 at once.
  • Stretch whenever you can.
  • Play.
  • Meet friends for an active occasion like swimming, kayaking or a game of volleyball (rather than just another night out to dinner)
  • Clean your house, plant a garden, or do yard work knowing your physiology is reaping rewards in the process.

Get creative and have fun looking for new ways to inject more movement into your day. Your “exercise” sessions will probably improve because of it, and your mental and physical health will hugely benefit from just doing what you were born to do…move.

The body will become better at what you do. If you don’t move your body will make you better at not moving. If you move your body will allow you more movement.
—Ido Portal

If you are human…you are a mover. #builtforthis #outofthebox Click To Tweet

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