Yesterday I had a great conversation with a client about quality of movement. Like a lot of people these days she’s been wearing a Fitbit and counting her steps. Now personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. In fact I think that’s great. Especially if you have a job where you’re sitting down most of the time or you have been sedentary in general but have realized the health risks of that behavior.
But since we’ve been working together my client has gone from just trying to log a certain amount of steps per day to actually setting aside time for exercise such as water aerobics, walking and an elliptical machine, and this is where we’ve noticed a difference in quantity vs. quality of steps. She is a teacher and works with special needs kids so the majority of her steps come in a high stress environment. Even though she was meeting her step goals every day and theoretically burning calories she was not receiving the other benefits of aerobic exercise like reduced cortisol levels and elevated dopamine and serotonin levels.
Since setting aside 30-60 minutes 4-5 times a week for exercise she has seen more weight loss and positive mood changes. While it’s a great idea to take a look at how active we are daily and find ways to incorporate more movement into our daily routine, I don’t feel it’s enough. Making time to fit an exercise routine into your life will have a more significant improvement in your overall health and well-being. Find activities you enjoy-yoga, strength training, cardio are all beneficial so find something that appeals to you. But also don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. If you’ve never taken a pilates class, how do you know you wouldn’t like it? Group fitness classes are a great way to try new things in a friendly environment. If you’re worried about not keeping up just remember everyone’s been the newbie at some point.