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Couch to … what?

We might laugh … but it’s amazing how many people don’t move during the working day – especially now that many of us are staying at home.

There’s no commute, no meetings to go to, no need to see a colleague three floors up, no workplace cafe to saunter along to.  Before the world changed, at least we all had some movement in our working day, even if it was just to get there.  Now we don’t even need to leave the house to get our weekly shop – you can hunter-gather all you like from the comfort of your sofa.

Mike Stroud, author of ‘Survival of the Fittest’, captures it well:

“Only in recent years, in the age of silicon, has inertia become the norm.”

… and yet

“Our bodies are genetically tuned for constant activity.”

This inertia impacts our physical and our mental health, our energy, confidence, self-esteem, sleep – it affects our quality of life.

Many of us have compartmentalised exercise, ie. up until recently, we’d go to work, go to the gym and go home.  Movement is seen as something that has to be done in a one hour block rather than something to be integrated throughout our day.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with going to the gym, it’s just not the only way.

I enjoy the approach taken by both Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Darryl Edwards.  I particularly like Rangan’s easy-to-implement ideas, his to 2 minute ‘movement snacks’, or ‘commute’ around your neighbourhood with a 20 minute walk in the morning – it certainly sets me up for the day.  I like Darryl’s rejection of work-outs in favour of  seeing the world around us as our playground.  From tig to heads, shoulders, knees and toes – you get the extra bonus of connecting with others and laughing, raising oxytocin levels as well as your endorphins.

The trouble for Sandra is that someone else has decided what exercise she should be doing.  Exercise is individual, like Sandra, I wouldn’t want anyone imposing their sporting ambitions on me.

Ultimately only Sandra can put her cake down and move.   To be motivated to do this, it’s essential that she finds what works for her, no matter how small.  So ask, ‘What’s stopping you from moving?’ ‘When could you stand or walk whilst you’re working?  What would you like to do – from couch to 5 steps or what?’

Find out more about Headtorch@ Home, a series of L&D events, that include Look After Your Body.









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