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12 Months to a Healthier You: Tips to Keep Moving to Keep Living

By Sara Butler

Movement and Your Body

Can you believe that 2022 is ready to come to a close, but with the health and wellness tips you’ve learned with The Joint Chiropractic this year, your health journey has just begun!

Before we release you out into the wildlands of 2023, there’s one more thing to talk about: How to keep your body moving. Everyone has thought to themselves, “Who has time to exercise when (fill in the blank)?” Maybe you work the night shift, maybe you’re busy with kid’s activities, maybe you’re a student working toward a degree -- no matter who you are, you’re not alone in trying to figure out how to fit exercise into an already busy schedule.

The secret to keeping your body moving today and every day is to find ways to move more that don’t require extra time out of your busy schedule. It’s a lot easier than you think!

Why You Should Keep Your Body Moving

It’s easy to sink into the couch at the end of a long day and binge-watch your favorite home improvement show until it’s time to hit the hay. That’s why, if you make the conscious choice to move more, you have to understand why it’s so important.

There are many benefits to movement, including:

  • Stronger muscles - Your body has more than 600 individual muscles. When you move more, you make those muscles stronger which, in turn, helps to improve your coordination, stability, and balance. Stretching also helps your muscles stay healthy too!
  • Stronger bones - You may not think there’s a way to work out your bones, but the truth is that movement helps to build denser and more durable bones. Simple weight-bearing activities such as walking can help support your bones.
  • Improved range of motion - Moving more will encourage joint flexibility and improve your range of motion, which ultimately boosts joint function, a winning combination.
  • Improved cognition - Finding a way to incorporate more movement into your day is good for your brain too. Exercise has been shown to help support the structures of the brain that tend to decline as people get older.
  • Better heart health - Of course one of the best reasons to move more is to improve your heart health! Regular movement can decrease your risk of heart disease.
  • Better breathing - You don’t have to get into high-intensity workouts to improve your lung function. Finding ways to move more gets your lungs going and improves your respiratory endurance.

If you’re looking for a way to quantify your movement, consider getting an app for your phone that counts your daily steps and aim for 10,000 per day.

Tips to Help You Move More

There are many small decisions you can make on a daily basis that can help you to move more. Some of the easiest choices you can make that add more steps to your daily pedometer reading include:

  • Choose the stairs - An oldie but a goody, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator is recommended because it’s a simple and easy way to work in more movement.
  • Park far away - You may spend some time cruising the parking lot for a close parking spot so you don’t have to walk far, but you may want to challenge that behavior. You can easily get more movement in your day by simply choosing a spot farther away from the entrance -- as long as the area is well-lit and safe, of course.
  • Stretch during TV viewing - You may want to veg out in front of the television, but for those who want to work more movement into their day, TV time is the prime time to move. You can walk in place, stretch, or do a few yoga poses during commercial breaks. Or if you watch a 30-minute episode of your favorite show, moving the whole time is 30 minutes of movement!
  • Clean up - The chores you do around the house count as exercise! Vacuuming, mopping, sorting laundry, taking out the garbage -- don’t think of them as chores but opportunities to get more movement in your day.
  • Stand when possible - The simple act of standing uses more muscles than sitting, making it one of the easiest ways to get more movement in your day without even realizing it. When you’re on the phone, getting ready for your day, or even blow-drying your hair, choose to stand instead of sit.
  • Walk, don’t drive - If you’re used to getting in your car and zipping around, consider walking or taking your bike instead.

There are many simple ways you can incorporate more movement into your day. It’s important to remember that even small changes can have a huge impact on your health and wellness. So, as we close out this year and the new one comes into focus, make it a year where you promise yourself to find little ways to move more and increase your overall health.

And remember, good health doesn’t have to end on Dec. 31. If there are ideas that you didn’t incorporate over the last 12 months, add them as you can next year. Adding healthy habits to your life is never a bad idea.

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