So you might have hibernated a little over the winter (promise we won’t tell anyone) but the sun is starting to peek through again, and with it comes the motivation to get moving! Spring is all about regeneration and fresh starts, so let’s take a look at your current schedule and see if we can’t make some invigorating tweaks.
1. Less sitting at your desk all day, more get up and go!
Alright, so the desk heater has been your BFFL for the last few months, and rightfully so. But harnessing your lunch break as an opportunity to move can shake up your day, and at the very least, it will get the blood flowing to the brain to come up with some bright ideas in the afternoon! A recent study found that a taking a walk in nature at lunchtime nature resulted in lower heart rate and blood pressure readings for the rest of the day; and the benefits of that walk extended to higher quality, more restorative sleep that evening.
2. Less driving everywhere, more walking and cycling!
Opting to ditch the car is known in the scientific world as ‘active travel’; which is basically using our bodies to get from point A to point B – and the health benefits are numerous. In the long term, the risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death are slashed by an active commute. In the short term, being physically active is an instant mood boost and you won’t have to look for a car park! If you opt to walk, there are some great podcasts out there these days to tune in to on your journey.
Less of the same old exercise routine, more trying something new!
The body is amazing in the way that it adapts to the challenges that we apply to it (such as exercise). If you’ve been doing the same thing for 3 months or more, chances are that your body has become very comfortable with the familiarity, and you may even be experiencing a plateau. If you’re a gym-goer, simple adjustments such as increasing your weights, repetitions, or adding some high intensity intervals work wonders for shaking it up. If you’ve been regularly attending yoga, why not mix in some aerial yoga, acro yoga, or stand up paddleboard yoga? The brain loves making fresh neural pathways for new types of movement, and you may just find that the body rapidly increases its muscle strength and performance as a result.
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Jennifer Smallridge AEP
Jennifer Smallridge first discovered a love for movement at the tender age of four. She currently lectures in Exercise Science and Functional Human Anatomy and also consults in private practice. Jennifer has developed a strong interest in mindfulness, and has since taken extra qualifications in Clinical Pilates and Therapeutic Yoga.
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