Who loves a quick fix? *slowly raises hand* If you’re anything like me, life feels so busy 100% of the time. And as much as I wish I could do less of everything with more time, it feels like the opposite every. single. day. Between running our household, organizing travel, carting the kids around, and trying to maintain some level of self-care…whoa.
So, one thing I’ve been weaving into my life is “micro” successes. No time for an hour-long phone call with my best friend? I’ll take 10 mins while I wait in the carpool lane. No time to do a full home facial? Pop on some super-hydrating eye patches. These days I’m all about small wins adding up to big results.
Fitness definitely falls into this bucket. As much as I’d love to do an hour of dedicated fitness each day…yeah, right. I’m lucky if I grab a shower some days, so expecting to get in a workout is laughable. But fitness is important to me. Not because of how I look, but because of how it makes me feel. When I’m physically active, I sleep better, have more energy, my head is clearer, and let’s just face it – I’m a kinder human. Knowing daily dedicated workouts just aren’t realistic right now, I’ve started weaving micro-fitness into my days. Add these micro exercises to your daily routine and notice how much better your body and mind begin to feel.
If you live in a city like New York or London, you naturally walk quite a lot. I, however, live in a “driving city.” We drive everywhere here – even if it’s just from one parking lot to the parking lot next door… So as much as possible, I intentionally add walking into my days. I park far from the entrance to the store. I leave my car in one parking lot and walk to the other; I walk to a neighbor’s house. It sounds simple, but if you look at your days and realize how much you drive when you could walk, you’ll see lots of opportunities to get a few steps in.
Okay this one sounds a little strange, but hear me out. Standing still in the kitchen? Do some calf raises. Sitting in a chair? Squeeze your thighs together and hold, then release. Repeat. Anytime you’re sitting, standing, or even walking, you can find a muscle to focus on and squeeze…release…squeeze. This isn’t about building muscle, but about keeping your body awake and bringing mindfulness to your muscles.
If I could only ever do two moves, they would be lunges and pushups. They’re super-efficient and hit a lot of muscle groups at once. Anytime I can do ten lunges or ten pushups (not in public, let’s not get crazy), I do. Pushups on the floor are aggressive, so I’m talking about doing them against the kitchen or bathroom counter. Lunge down your home hallway as you go from one end to the other. You won’t get sweaty. You will appreciate feeling your muscles move and heart beating.
Look, you have to do a few “real” workouts each week to get and stay in shape – that’s for sure. But in-between sessions, you can keep your body feeling engaged and alive and show it some appreciation by adding in micro-fitness. Think of each step, push up, squeeze-and-release and lunge as a tiny hug you give your body. Also, doing these little things will subconsciously remind you that you love movement and probably encourage you to get in that extra “real” workout each week.
Fitness hasn’t always been easy for me. Here’s my story about fitness after 30 and how I embraced my body, my energy, and my wellness.
Micro-workouts are short workouts that last less than 10 minutes.
Yes! A little goes a long way. When I’m physically active, I sleep better, have more energy, my head is clearer, and let’s just face it – I’m a kinder human. Knowing daily dedicated workouts just aren’t realistic right now, adding in these little exercises throughout my day keeps my mind and body alert.
Two moves that are super-efficient, effective, and hit a lot of muscle groups are lunges and pushups. If I could only ever do two moves, they would be lunges and pushups.