You may be meeting your fitness goals and you may be working out in the gym for hours on end; however, you may not realise that the movements you make throughout the rest of your day are just as important.
Cue in micro-movement exercises, like fidgeting, which are extremely important for setting your body up for long-term body conditioning that will better prepare you for later in life.
Benefits of micro-movements
Micro-movements are overlooked movements that involve taking every opportunity possible to keep your body active and could help you burn off a few extra calories. They are especially important if you are one of those people that gets stuck to your desk for extended periods of time in the day.
Now, many of you may argue that these movements are unnecessary if you exercise regularly at a gym or play sport. We don’t deny the impact of regular exercise sessions, but micro-movement exercises help you establish routines that you may have to solely depend on in the later stages of your life.
Incorporating simple micro-movements into your daily routine are also said to be ways to reduce stress and improve mental acuity, as proven by the guiding principles of ancient Chinese arts such as Tai-Chi.
You may not see massive gains from these movements, but what they do is activate slow-twitch muscle fibres and support your overall fitness.
Simple moves for success
The benefits of micro-movements are a reason why the standing desk has become popular in the business world.This is because when you’re standing your body is elongated, meaning your heart has to pump blood a longer distance to reach the floor than when you’re seated.
For every hour or two you sit in the office, an hour should be spent standing. We’d suggest you alternate between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 mins to break up the monotony. This involves your body to be constantly activated and engaged as it automatically stabilises itself. Also, as you make slight changes to your stance like this, it improves your overall posture.
Fidgeting is another good micro-movement. Researchers claim that even constantly tapping a foot or wiggling in your office chair burns about 300 calories a day, as compared to someone that remains seated and still.
Establish a routine without radically changing every single thing you do. Take it easy, go at it little and often. Write yourself a list of three micro-movement exercises that you can perform in a day and pursue this for about two weeks. Then, add one more to the list until you eventually end up with 10 micro-movement exercises every day.
Here are some simple micro-movements that you can incorporate into your day:
- Planking through the duration of a TV commercial
- Stand and do 5 lunges for every 20 mins of sitting
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Allocate some of your lunch time to have a walk outside
- Lean back in your chair and lift your feet with legs straight for 20 reps
- Clench your stomach muscles for 8 secs, for 20 reps
So, go ahead, get yourself moving and make these micro-changes to your life.