|Do you Wordle? If you don’t then you are among a minority of people. It seems like everyone has gotten on the Wordle bandwagon lately. This simple word game was created by a programmer for his wife, to help them fill their time during quarantine and it has exploded in popularity.
When I first heard about it and tried it I was admittedly a bit perplexed. It wasn’t an app, just a simple website, full of simple words and you could only play once a day. There were many apps that you could download that were exactly the same, but you could play as many times as you wanted, and you could challenge yourself with longer words, or harder words if you wanted to. I didn’t get it…until I did.
The simplicity was the charm. The words were easy and always 5 letters long. Most people would have no trouble figuring out the word in the 6 guesses you were allotted. And unlike some of the popular gaming apps today, it didn’t let you waste hours of your day on it. One game and you were done for the day. In a world where binging on Netflix and wasting hours on games like Farmville or Candy Crush is becoming the norm, it was like a breath of fresh air. A couple of guilt free minutes to be distracted without any need for self control. Who doesn’t want that.
This of course made me think about exercise (I know, I know…one track mind). People think for it to be effective it has to be done for an hour at a time and it has to be intense. Most people don’t have the time or energy for the ‘all” and so they opt for the opposite, which is nothing.
But there is the Wordle of workouts and they are called micro-workouts. They are exactly as they are named. Small workouts.
And even if you are an active gym go-er, which I hope you are, unless you have an active job, you can still benefit from micro workouts. There is a concept called the Active Couch Potato…even if you workout your body still needs to move regularly to stay healthy.
I quote Katy Bowman, the author of Move Your DNA, when she said, “When you use a single position repetitively, such as curling your body into a comfortable work chair for hours every day, muscles, joints and arteries will adapt to this repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup and becoming literally ‘stiff ‘with reduced ranges of motion and actual hardening of the arterial walls in those areas.”
Stillness for any period of time is bad for bodies. Thank you micro workouts for being an easy solution o this problem.
How to Incorporate Micro Workouts
First and foremost you have to start with rejecting the all or nothing idea of working out and add the insight that no workout is too short. This way, you drop all excuses that you don’t have time or energy. We all have time for a few squats or elevated pushups in our day. Right? Right.
Second, I like the idea of stacking habits when it comes to micro workouts (although this isn’t essential). This simply means, take a habit you already have ingrained in your life and add an additional habit to it. For example, if you religiously make a pot of coffee in the morning, maybe you use the time while the pot is brewing to walk up and down your stairs or to stretch.
Brushing your teeth is a perfect time to practice balancing on one foot. Waiting for your shower to warm up? That is a perfect time to plank or do pushups. Taking a bathroom break? Why not throw a few squats or lunges in on your way to, or more likely from, there? Washing dishes? Do a set of counter pushups before you start, and then before you dry and then after you have put the dishes away.
Do you see where I am going with this?
I want to encourage you to look for opportunities over the course of every day to put your body under some kind of b1rief resistance load. Even if you only work hard for one minute at a time but are relatively faithful about incorporating these micro opportunities into your daily routine, the cumulative effects may surprise you!
Every effort, however modest, can be a small win. Small wins over time add up to big wins. Don’t forget that. Let me know by replying to this email if this shifts your mindset at all or if there are any micro workouts or habits that you will be stacking in your days.
Have a great week everyone! Christine xo