Lifestyle | August 06, 2019

Movers & Shakers: How Simple Movements Can Improve Your Life

By Rory Coulter
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Tips from the experts on how simple movements can improve your life.

Ever noticed, when we set physical goals, they always tend to be really ambitious? Climbing mountains, doing triathlons, running marathons — that’s amazing. But there are also a lot of small, simple movements we can do today that can vastly improve our lives.

Three movement experts share their tips:

Strike A (Power) Pose, There's Nothing To It

“Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes . . . Fake it ‘til you become it.” 

— Amy Cuddy, Ted Talk: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are

We hear a lot about the mind-body connection. But how about the body-mind connection. Researchers are beginning to understand how our bodies can change our minds and our minds can change our behavior and our behavior can change our outcomes.

Amy Cuddy, award-winning social psychologist and best-selling author, says that our body language not just influences how others think and feel about us, it also influences how we think and feel about ourselves.

She shares a free no-tech lifehack that only takes two minutes and can significantly change the way your life unfolds: 

Before you go into a job interview/first date/big meeting, take two minutes in private to strike a power pose: legs apart, hands on hips, head held high. It’s proven to configure your brain to be assertive, confident and comfortable, so you can nail it.

Watch her Ted Talk: Twenty minutes that could change your life. 

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Don't Just Sit There

“Many people are shocked when they realize just how easy it is to move more (note: I said move, not exercise) and how radically better they feel by making tiny skeletal adjustments throughout the day.”

— Katy Bowman, Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement

Sitting is the new smoking, or so popular myth would have us believe. But is sitting really the problem? It’s more about staying still. Our bodies need to move — it’s in our DNA.

Katy Bowman, renowned biomechanist and founder of Nutritious Movement, says that we need to shift our focus from periodic exercise to continual movement to offset the negative effects of our sedentary lifestyles.

She shares a simple tip to increase your movement and improve your health, even while seated at your desk:

Sit forward in your seat. Sit on the edge of your chair so your core muscles are engaged to support your back. Also, change your position up: cross your legs, bring your knees us to your chest, elevate your feet, point your toes.

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Walk This Way

“Immobility over a long period of time slows brain activity down.”

— Shane O’Mara

Don’t mind the nayersers — walking is in fact a great form of exercise. It’s not just good for our bodies, it’s essential for healthy brain function too, including cognition, mood, memory, and problem solving. Not to mention, it’s scientifically proven to bring happiness.

Shane O’Mara, neuroscientist and author of In Praise of Walking, says doctors should prescribe walking instead of pills. That’s exactly what Scottish physicians in the Shetland Islands are doing to treat patient with chronic illness. As ecotherapy and “nature prescriptions” become more widely accepted, O’Mara suggests it’s time we trade in our gym memberships for a pair of comfortable walking shoes, likening walking to a superpower. 

He shares a simple tip to start walking more, even on your commute to work:

“You don’t need to be somewhere wild and green to walk . . . People think they have to invest in hiking gear or expensive boots, that’s nonsense. Just a comfortable pair of shoes and the will to incorporate it into your daily routine. If distances are too great, or time too short to walk all the way to or from work, get on or off the bus a couple of stops earlier than usual.” 

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Tags: Wellness



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