|Simple effortless ways to get a ton more movement into your day.|
Hi everyone! For this weeks post, one of my clients has allowed me to post the entire details of an email consult here. I thought it might be helpful as I am sure many of you will relate to her issues. Section 1 consists of a questionnaire to gain more understanding of her day to day routine, and Section 2 gives a host of ideas to incorporate more movement into her day in a fun and effortless way.
SECTION 1: QUESTIONNAIRE
Bare Soled Girl: Could you tell me a little about your general health, if you have any issues that prevent you from navigating your day to day life (injuries, illness etc)?
Client: I have a dodgy pelvis since pregnancy that hasn’t gone back to normal. Otherwise, fit and healthy, if a little ‘unfit’.
BSG: I would highly recommend this series of movements, to wake up and mobilise your shoulder blades, spine, pelvis and ribcage. There are 4 movements in total. I do these every day and they feel amazing. P.S. I will be taking Gary Wards courses very soon!
BSG: What is your average weekday like? Try to be as specific as possible, right down to the hour you get up, go to bed, what your morning vs afternoon schedule is etc etc….the more info the better!
Client: I’m a stay at home mum to a 4-year-old boy. I co-sleep with him so the early hours of the morning often involve lying in a fixed position trying not to move him up.
BSG: You said you end up in a fixed position in the early morning. See if you can make it a slightly different ‘fixed’ position each time…change up the geometry a little and try not to tense in this position. That way you are ‘squishing’ your cells in a slightly different way each time…and that all classifies as movement!!!
Client: He wakes about 7 and I either go back to bed if I’m tired or get up and play with him for a few hours, indoors or in the garden doing gardening.
BSG: A little gardening alignment tip:
Client: We walk down to town for lunch, walk around town, shop and go to the park and walk home. (All in all about 4000 steps – hard to increase it – nowhere else to go!)
BSG: Perhaps don’t ALWAYS walk on the same path through your town, and if you have nowhere else to walk mix it up somehow. If it’s a loop, go in a different direction. Walk on the other side of the sidewalk. Change something, it will make you more alert. Bend down to look at flowers etc with son in the same way as shown above in gardening video to get in some squats. Have some fun at the playground:
Client: I tend to push him home in the pushchair as we live up a very steep hill.
BSG: Try some games to encourage your little boy up the steep hill…” meet you there” game for eg…where you run to the next available tree, car etc and he does the same etc…..you could also toy with the idea of carrying him for parts of the steep hill stretch in various ways; piggyback, in one arm, around your back etc…be playful with the idea, a great way to get some upper body strength work.
Client: Then it’s dinner and bedtime. He goes to bed at 7, where I lie with him till he falls asleep,
BSG: You could incorporate some of your restorative stretches here, some breathing or meditation?
Client: Then I come down and chat with my partner / watch TV/read till bedtime – but I do sit on the floor for this.
BSG: Get yourself some yoga tune-up balls here, to enjoy self-massage of tight fascia while you watch tv, a super delicious way to unwind.
BSG: What does a weekend usually consist of for you?
Client: Usually drive somewhere to do shopping, lunch and a trip. Not nearly as much walking as I’d like as my partner is often tired and we haven’t really got into the routine of pushing ourselves (2-3000 steps)
BSG: Try frisbee or flying a kite in the park. I recently invested in a Flybold Slackline kit and it’s incredible how the whole family want to get involved, including my partner who is also often tired. It is amazing fun and there’s always cheap ones going on eBay.
BSG: Is there any way your family could socialise at the weekend in a forest/park with a few friends/other families? : playing some games together, having a picnic etc.. (written before pandemic)
BSG: What does your time for fitness/exercise look like?
Client: I do Katy Bowman’s online classes 1 or 2 x a week. I often try and stretch/move while I’m sitting. I could do more if I didn’t waste time on my phone. I could go to classes on the weekend if I wanted to, but I prefer Katy’s work to a yoga class!
BSG: Perhaps rather than going to a class, take the opportunity to get in a longer walk on possibly more challenging ground. Get your fiancee to drop you to the next village etc and make your way back… like a little mini-adventure for yourself. Keep going with stretches and moves here and there throughout the day, that’s all great. Think about downloading an app that helps you track your phone usage.
Also, dance with your son, swing him, lift him up as part of the dance etc, all great strengthening and mobility work.
BSG: What changes would you like to see in your daily life and why? What do you feel is holding you back from fitness goals. Feel free to elaborate into other lifestyle goals here aside from fitness. I just want to get a feel for your life as it is right now and how to work within that framework.
Client: Without drastically changing my lifestyle, I don’t know how to walk more, get my upper body moving and help my son move more. My son will be home educated so our life won’t change much but there’s scope for more. We live in a small town so unless we walk to another village it’s not really possible to walk any further. Unless I was less anxious about taking longer trips maybe. It sounds silly but I always wish my partner was really into this so he could help me lead the way, but I feel I have to drag my family along on this mission with me.
BSG: Yes it does seem hard when you know this is beneficial for the whole family but your other half isn’t as excited about it! I have been there! Just keep going…he will begin to see the fun you are having and the changes you are making to your mind and body and he may become indirectly interested from seeing you!
SECTION 2: MORE MOVEMENT SUGGESTIONS
Ideas for More Garden Movement:
- Keep climbing that tree! Encourage your little boy to climb and model by climbing a little yourself!
- If you can get your hands on an old ladder and raise it at both ends and crawl over it together. Crawling is an incredible movement that incorporates balance work and coordination with whole-body movement
- Crawling Instructions: Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Hands straight ahead with elbow pits forward. Bring your heels up so you can use your toes to move. Next, apply pressure in your hands and pop your knees off the ground around 4 inches. Your back should be roughly parallel to the ground. You want to maintain this level throughout your crawl. To begin crawling, move in a contralateral pattern (opposite hand and foot.) Move your right hand forward and left foot forward at the same time. Then switch. Left hand forward, right foot forward. Look in front of you to see where you are going, but only lift your head as much as necessary to see. Be careful not to let your knees flare out to the side. To make sure your knees are properly aligned, keep your knee in line with your elbow.
- Take various items outside and practice balancing/jumping from one to the next, you can be kangaroos together…..can be yoga blocks, cushions, books etc etc…possibilities are endless.
- Go barefoot in the grass and whatever other ‘vitamin textured’ ground you have access to…rocks, stones etc….mobilise your feet as much as you can with different terrain.
- Grab these cards from Primal Play and have some fun together!
Ideas for More General Outdoor Movement:
- Is there any way you could squeeze in a 20-minute walk before your fiancee heads out to work in the morning a few mornings a week?
Ideas for More Indoor Movement:
- Squat down on the floor to prep vegetables for your meal.
- Grate cheese, carrot etc by hand (some handwork!)
- Put your cups up on a high shelf so you have to reach up for them.
- Practice sitting in different ways on the floor, and getting up in different ways.
- Make or buy a textured mat that you can place in an area where you walk over frequently. You could also buy one such as this, which is also aesthetically beautiful (see image below).
- Crawl from room to room and invite your son to attach to your belly like a koala! Or on your back like a camel!
- Each time you go up your stairs, do it a little differently. For example one time you could take 2 steps at a time, next time go up sideways, next time crawl etc
- Did I already mention dance? What a fun way to move your family. Just choose some upbeat music and off you go!
- Try Cosmic Kids Yoga here with your little one (see below eg. video) I do it with my kids as it is great fun!
I hope these ideas are helpful. Remember, movement is something to be enjoyed. It is part of the essence of being human. Let’s not turn it into punishment!