December’s Tiny Change: Move Your Body Every Dayby Elise Museles
If you’re just joining us, this post is part of the year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month we’re implementing one super small, super doable change—over a year it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related GIVEAWAYS each month?! Read on!)
I know what you’re thinking.
“Elise, it’s the holidays. The last thing I have time for is exercise! I am so, so, SO busy. I barely have time to even think about it!”
I get it.
But I’m asking you to hear me out.
To start: let’s consider it movement, not exercise. A lot of us have negative associations with the word “exercise.” We immediately picture getting chosen last in gym class or dancing awkwardly in the back row of a Zumba class. But what if we reframe this? What if we simply aim to move our bodies every day—and that movement can take whatever form we like?
Your daily movement can be a long walk to the farmer’s market or a hike with the dogs. It can be two hours of raking leaves or 30 minutes of playing tag with kids. It might even be a single person dance party in between all the holiday baking. You get the point. Just make it your goal to “move my body every day.”
During the winter—and especially the holiday season—we need to move our bodies more than ever. This is the time when many of us fall off of our routines and make promises to get back on track after the new year. But movement helps us manage the stress of long gift lists, packed social calendars, and trips to see family. Movement also helps us cope with the inevitable ”seasonal mopes” that accompany lower temperatures and less daylight.
When we move around (in any way), we’re more patient, more focused, and more relaxed—all things that come in handy any time, but especially when you’ve got to wrap 67 presents, attend all the holiday parties, and travel for hours on crowded roads and packed airports with everyone else and their mother!
If you’re ready for this month’s tiny change, I’ve rounded up seven easy ways to make movement part of your day.
1. View it as respite
You’re not “going to that cardio class you hate,” instead you’re “taking a hike in the gorgeous, crisp air.” You’re not “attending that dreaded spin class” instead you’re “clearing your head with a walk around the neighborhood.” Rather than thinking of movement as mandatory exercise, think of it as time away from all the tasks and to-do lists that accompany the holidays. Movement can be a break and a breather, not an obligation.
2. Give yourself the right fuel
It’s hard to move your body when you haven’t nourished it properly! Make movement easier by loading up on the right combination of nutrients. I swear by my PB & J Oatmeal for the perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat. Reach for these Apricot Vanilla Cashew Bars from my upcoming book for sustained energy on those extra busy days. Stay hydrated and help out those sore muscles with some Anti-Inflammatory Green Juice. Or go for the healthy foodies favorite “fast food”—avocado toast—and add an egg or other nutritional boosts on top to help refuel and recover.
3. After you’ve moved your body, notice how good you feel
That serene, accomplished feeling you have after you’ve moved your body? Notice it. Acknowledge it. Say to yourself “I feel great and that’s because I moved my body.” When you mentally pair a positive emotion with a physical act, you’re more likely to make it a part of your daily life!
4. Rather than meeting for lunch or coffee, meet your friends and move
It’s cheaper, it’s healthier, and it’s a great way to bond. Just get outside wherever you are. Walk around a lake, meet for a run, or make plans to bundle up on a stroll along the beachfront. If it’s really too cold, take it inside and cruise around the mall before it opens. (Window shopping optional!)
5. Embrace winter and the fun, different activities that go with it
Instead of hunkering down for the winter, what if we welcomed the snow and ice with open arms? Colder temperatures bring activities like skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, or even curling! If you live in a warmer climate, enjoy this break from the intense summer heat with some cooler temp hiking or trail running.
6. Do more of your favorite active hobbies
I bet movement is already part of your life—maybe you’re taking fitness classes or playing ball with your pups. What if you simply did more of what you’re already doing? Add another sculpt workout, get on your mat just one more time in the week, or tack on an extra few miles to your bike ride. If you’ve found something that works for you, commit to making it a bigger part of your life.
Remember that every step counts + you’ll never regret moving your body
When your calendar is overflowing and you can’t fit in a “real” workout, it’s easy to throw in the towel and throw yourself on the couch. Even if you don’t have time for a sweaty high intensity interval class, just add a tiny bit more movement to your day—take the stairs, park further away, add two more blocks when you walk the dogs.
And if you need a movement pep talk? No one ever says, “Ugh, I sure wish I hadn’t hiked to that beautiful overlook.” or “Starting my day with yoga was such a terrible idea!”
Once you get moving, you’ll be glad you did. Doing begets more doing—a little bit of intention and movement affects everything. You’ll feel like a happier & more energetic version of yourself all day long!
To help you move your body for this month’s challenge (and in the spirit of holiday giving!), I’m teaming up with Lululemon, Manduka, DRINKmaple, Purely Elizabeth, and NeoMatcha (plus a few more) to give away the most incredible bundles all month long!
Follow along on Instagram to enter. I can’t wait to inspire you further to make this one tiny but impactful change throughout December!