Keep your body moving with top tips on staying active in a busy lifestyle
By Dr Hannah Flynn | The Chiropractic Works
With the theme of Spinal Health Week this year being ‘Back Your Inner Athlete’ and the Rio Olympics fast approaching, it seems like really good time for me to give you a little pep talk about how important exercise is in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, when I stop and think about my current exercise regime I can honestly say it is not what I would like it to be and with that in mind I find it difficult to put the hard word on you. My exercise routine has changed significantly in the past few years with my transition to motherhood together with managing the juggling act of maintain a healthy work life balance, but my passion and love for competitive sport and all it’s elements has not. I once considered myself an ‘Athlete’ by definition, now some days I don my ‘active wear’ in the hope that I can consider myself to at least appear athletic. That said, I am still a very active person and often I discuss with patients the difference between stressing about exercise and getting more active during your day to day life.
I love working with athletes, I love their dedication and commitment to their chosen path and I love that their body is their machine and so they are the patients who don’t need to be motivated to look after themselves. However I understand that not everyone has the physical attributes, capacity or desire to compete on the sporting field at amateur or professional level. Just last week I had the absolute privilege of sitting at a dinner table with three incredible athletes, Anna Meares, Juliet Haslam and my childhood Basketball idol, Rachel Sporn. These three women have each made multiple Olympic appearances and won numerous medals. Listening to them speak about their chosen sports, their journey to get to the Olympic games, their failures and their successes was fantastic. The message was clear though, find what it is you want to achieve and commit your body, heart and mind to getting it, ride the waves, especially the big ones and come out at the other end having had a damn good time. Athlete or not, we can all take that on board.
All that being said, the question actually I want to answer for you is how do we all find our inner athlete and get more active? Here’s my top tips:
- Get your self a ‘team’, someone or a group of people that you can be accountable to. Lock in a walk, run, bike ride, swim, or whatever you enjoy once a week, agree to attend a class together, meet at each others’ houses for a session of squats and dips while the kids play. Whatever it is, having someone to commit to makes it much more difficult to pull the pin.
- Incorporate some ‘exercise’ into your day to day tasks. For one month challenge yourself to do lunges while you hang out the washing increasing the number each day. Make the commercial breaks of your favourite TV shows about planks and push-ups and roll out your spine on your foam roller in between. Bicep and Tricep curls whilst putting away the groceries. It sounds silly but it’s easy and achievable.
- Think about the steps you take everyday, even get yourself a Pedometer or any of the various devices you can buy that monitor your daily activity. It is cliché’ but it’s as easy as parking further away from your workplace or at school pick-up, get off the bus a stop or two earlier. Take the stairs! Walk laps of the oval while your kids are at footy training.
- Download the App from the CAA website. Make yourself aware of how long you have been sitting in the same position at your desk and commit to making a change. Better yet, get yourself a standing desk, you’ll notice my CAs are standing behind the desk in our waiting room, not only is it beneficial for their spine, but for their waist line, their heart health and their brain function. Your body is a machine designed to move, even small movements are better than no movement.