3 Micro-Habits for When You Want to Start Moving
Before you start your next workout plan or habit, ask yourself a few honest questions without judgment.
- How much time do you have?
- What physical or emotional need do you want to address?
- What type of workout do you want to do?
- What level are you starting from?
The more realistic you are about your starting point and the more closely aligned it is to your day-to-day needs, the more you can do to protect your body and stick with your plan long term.
And rather than going from zero to 60, a great place to start any new fitness routine is with micro-habits.
Here are three of our favorites that can be adjusted and expanded to fit your time, needs, preferences, and starting point:
Whether you’re an Olympic gymnast or completely new to this whole movement thing, start with stretching. Not only does it warm up your muscles and reduce the risk of injury, it helps create an intentional space to care for your body. For many people, stretching can be the start of a mind-body relationship. You don’t have to spring into upside-down yoga poses to build body awareness or feel connected to your limbs. Simply stretching your arms, legs, and rolling out your neck and shoulders once in a while can reduce tension and bring your focus to those tight muscles. Start slow, take deep breaths, and just let your muscles do their thing.
We love this series of six stretches. To try it all you need is a wall, a tree, or a friend with a sturdy stance.
2. Go for a Walk
It might not feel like much of a workout, but that’s kind of the point. Studies show that your circulation and heart health can improve just from walking at a leisurely pace 30 minutes a day. Going for a walk carves out time for movement and provides all the benefits of movement, while keeping things low key. Use it as an excuse to step out of the office or get away from the computer during the work day, no fancy yoga pants or specialty shoes required.
Take a walk around the block at lunch or the next time you need to run errands, try walking instead. Listen to an episode of your favorite podcast or put on a fun playlist.
3. 10-Minute Workouts
If you’re ready to jump right into a workout routine but don’t have a ton of time, try a 10-minute workout. You can squeeze a lot into 10 minutes.
Working out in 10-minute increments is fun and versatile. By removing the big time commitment, the idea of daily movement becomes a lot more accessible. Ten-minute workouts can be as slow or intense as you want them to be, which also makes them easy to fit into your day no matter how you’re feeling. Start with one 10-minute workout three times per week and add on when you’re ready.
Download these short HIIT workouts to your phone and see if they work for you.