For Chiropractic Health Month 2021, the watchword is Keep Moving!
A poll conducted by the American Chiropractic Association in 2020 found that musculoskeletal issues have increased among people who were staying at home more because of the pandemic. 90% of respondents had seen this among their patients.
A review of wearables like Fitbit found that steps had fallen by as much as half during the pandemic.
Experts recommend that adults get 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise — that’s about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. What’s the average amount of exercise we’re getting right now? 14 minutes a day. And that’s the average –many of us can’t keep moving because we haven’t yet started moving.In fact, fewer than 25% of Americans met the guidelines for movement in 2018, and 65% of regular exercisers surveyed in 2020 had reduced their exercise frequency.
So how can you get moving?
First, you might need to get past your excuses. A poll in 2019 found that all of these things had kept people from exercising as much as they wanted to:
- Bad weather
- Good weather
- Being too old (41 was the cutoff for this one)
- Not feeling like exercising
In 2020 and 2021, ordinary daily movement outside of formal exercise lessened. The daily commute for many people no longer involves walking to the car or from the car to the office. A commute from the bedroom to the living room involves far fewer steps.
Strolling down the hallway to talk with a colleague or going out dancing in the evenings might have been part of your routine in the past, but now you might be moving less in your free time, too.
Every bit counts
Fortunately, you can get moving in small ways. Take small exercise breaks during the day. Have a personal dance party, walk around the house carrying items back to their rightful places, or take a walk around the block. These things might not feel like exercise, but they can add up to better health compared with remaining sedentary.
If you count steps, work to add on 100 steps a day. Once you’re doing that on a regular basis, work toward another 100 additional steps.
Making small fitness goals — even very small fitness goals — can work better than big goals that are harder to keep.
Make it a habit
Our brains are good at habits. Once something become s habit, we no longer have to think about it. We don’t feel like brushing our teeth in the morning is a big accomplishment: we just do it without thinking.
Connect movement with cues in your day. Walk while you talk on the phone, for example, so that every time your phone rings you get up and start moving around. Go for a bike ride with your kids as soon as they get home from school. Train your dog to take a walk right after breakfast…chances are, your dog will remind you. Set a timer on your phone or your home assistant device and do some line dancing whenever it rings.
The first few times you get moving on cue, it will be an effort. You may have to force yourself to take action and you might stop after just a few minutes. But soon it will be a habit. Your habit center will take over and it will be easier to move than to sit still.
If pain or lack of mobility keeps you from moving, visit your chiropractor. Increased mobility and decreased pain from chiropractic care can make it much easier to get and keep moving. Call (479) 571-8400 to schedule an appointment.