“I like to move it, move it” the song? Easily one of the top 10 most annoying songs ever. You know it, right? It’s on every 90s workout mix, and I’m sure still heard in rec center aerobics classes across the country.
“I like to move it, move it” the mantra? Awesome. Without a doubt.
I’m talking about moving, or more specifically adding movement to our days. I’ve noticed a great trend of yes, losing weight, but more importantly, being healthy. To me, one of the easiest ways to do that is to add as much movement to my day as possible. I’m fully aware that added movement can’t replace heart-pumping, endorphin-releasing exercise, but I do believe it adds to having a healthier lifestyle.
Like what? Most days I take the train to work, which means I drive to the train station, sit on the train and then walk just two blocks to my office. Not much movement there. But wait! Instead of parking in the first lot, I go way to the back. And I mean back. I park at the very farthest, very last spot. According to my trusty pedometer, this gives me an extra 400 steps each way. So it’s not a marathon but it’s 800 more steps than if I parked in a closer spot. I usually take the train four days a week so that’s 3,200 steps I gain just by parking farther away. Plus, the best part is that by the time I get to my car, all the jerks who run off the train and try to beat each other out of the parking lot are gone and I pull right out. Less stress and added movement? Win!
Other things I do are making multiple trips (up and down the stairs, across the grocery store, etc), walk to someone’s office instead of emailing them, dance parties at my desk, etc. But my favorite way to add movement is going to the bathroom. Or, to be less gross, using a farther bathroom. At home, if I’m downstairs, I’ll use the bathroom upstairs. But the real success story is at work. My office to the bathroom is 42 steps round trip. There are two sets of stairs on my floor. If I take the closest set down one flight it’s 148 steps round trip, and if I take the farther stairs, it’s 180 steps. Now, the key here is that I drink a lot of water. A lot. I try for a minimum of 100 ounces a day, most of which I consume at work. Also I have a teeny tiny bladder, so I’m generally going to the bathroom every hour. Let’s round down and say that it’s seven times per day. Using the closest bathroom, that’s 294 steps. Using the closest stairs to go one flight down is 1,036 steps, and using the farthest stairs is 1,260 steps. So just by using the stairs to go down one flight to another bathroom, there’s a potential for an additional 966 steps a day. Working in the office four days a week, that’s 3,864 steps I can add per week. I mean, I am going to go to the bathroom anyway, I may as well get in some movement!
With just parking in a farther spot and using a different bathroom, I’m walking an extra 1,766 steps every day. Hello? That’s 17 percent of the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day. Going to the bathroom and parking my car. Who knew?!
This week I’ll try to think of new ways to add movement to my daily routine. Squats during commercials? Leg raises while making dinner? What do you do to get moving in your every day life? I’m going to have to give this some thought.
In the meantime, move it!