Monday Morning Movement Mustn’t Be Miserable. Say that three times fast. I’m at the gym, waiting for a client… and he just cancelled. In a quick few minutes of people watching, I noticed something. The gym is packed, but nobody is smiling. In fact, the only thing that could be less exciting is this:
If you’re an early morning worker-outer, that’s awesome; way to get after it early in the morning. I’m just not with you.
When my schedule demands early lifting, I’ll get after it in the morning. ( Take the 4th of July as an example.) When I have my choice, I’ll get after it in the early/mid afternoon; I like to separate my bacon and eggs from when I go H.A.M.
While I don’t like lifting early, I DO like physical activity. I don’t care what you call it. You can call it a mini-workout, cardio, yoga, neural charge work; those are all buzz words to excite those who are fad fanatics. Rather than getting carried away with a title, let’s talk about the concept.
Movement is good. We need to move more.
Problem is, it can be hard to establish a practice of purposeful movement each and every day. I’m referring to physical activity other than dedicated strength and conditioning. You’re already doing that 2-5 times per week, aren’t you? Let’s just talk movement. I recently read a New York Times article which included the followed:
In another study presented at the sports medicine meeting, Taiwanese researchers reported that eight weeks of treadmill jogging significantly improved college students’ endurance, and the improvements were almost identical, whether the volunteers jogged for 30 minutes or for three 10-minute sessions on the same day.
Just how abbreviated, though, such repeated workouts can be and still remain efficacious isn’t yet clear. Are six five-minute walks as beneficial as a single half-hour stroll?
Simple division over-simplifies this for lay-people, who should be less concerned with a dose-response to exercise and more excited about moving well and moving often. I’m not fond of the approach of “How many ways can we total 30 minutes, because 30 minutes is magic”. If that’s your goal, simply park at the back of the parking lot and take the stairs throughout your work day, and you’ll live forever.
We’re after more.
I believe that everyone can feel better moving more often. You will want to move more if you move better, and you won’t move better until you put dedicated practice into it. Perhaps you include a series of yoga exercises in your rising ritual. (Here’s an example from the Huffington Post).
For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s a video of Neghar Fonooni taking John Romaniello through a series. I like this one because it shows that people of different ability levels can still employ a yoga practice:
How about those of you that aren’t down with the “yoga”. That’s fine; I’m not exactly on board the “align your inner You” train just yet, but I like the dedicated mobility. To avoid using the Y-word, let’s look at two of my favorite drills that we can use for “body weight strength”, or mobility, or not moving like crap.
Here is a lunge matrix and a push-up matrix:
You’ll have a great physical effect, and you’ll experience a boost in mobility, metabolic rate, and mood. Perhaps you’re after only a fat-loss effect, or strictly want to avoid having a case of the Mondays. Either way, you’re #winning.
Let’s take a step back; this isn’t just about morning, and it certainly isn’t limited to Monday. You can include dedicated movement into your day at anywhere, anytime. Hell, you can do it right now, as you’re reading this. (If that makes you do some lunges while on a subway or in a busy intersection, please send me a video.)
The NYT article that I mentioned above refers to walking when it says:
“we can tell people who think that 30 minutes of exercise is too much or takes up too much time, just do 10 minutes” three times a day — a goal that, for almost all of us, is achievable.
I think my readers are a big more enlightened and determined than most, and not the type to forgo 30 minutes of walking as too difficult; you’re more likely to think that it’s not quite enough. We train hard, but we need some intermittent movement throughout the day so that moving well isn’t limited to your workout. It’s something that you can be doing throughout the day and throughout the wek
Ideally, morning movement is going to help you feel energized to take on the challenges of the day. Most of us consider Monday morning to be the beginning of the week, so make sure that you’re starting the week like this:
How now, brown cow?