Yeah, I know. We have heard it all before. We typically hear “every little bit helps” when we are talking about donating money, but rarely do we apply it to our everyday lives. We have talked many times about success being a few simple disciplines practiced every day. So, if we can do some positive, little things each day, it will add up to something good. Therefore, if we can make some good health choices and do some little things every day, then we can have some level of success. Let’s look at some examples…
The Office Push Ups
When I worked in an office with a bunch of my friends, we came up with a way to improve our strength and fitness. We decided that every hour, we were going to do a certain number of push ups. Each person did their own amount, as most people were at different levels. We would set an alarm to remind us at the top of every hour, and then together, we would all do our push ups. It was a great team building exercise and great for our fitness. For most of us, we were doing between 300 and 400 push ups a day. I remember that I was able to add about 25 push ups to my max by simply doing this for about a month. It only took about a minute to do each hour, but what we got from it was much more.
The Hourly Stretch
I suspect this one will be more helpful for office workers and people who generally sit still for most of their day. At the top of every hour, I stand up and take a walk. I will walk out and get something to drink, use the restroom, and then come back to do a few stretches. It isn’t many stretches and it only takes about a minute. I will rotate my head in circles, rotate my shoulders, twist my back both ways, reach for the sky and then lean to each side, lastly rotating my hips in circles a few times. This type of stretching helps keep me limber and protects against stiffness throughout the day. Since I sit in an office chair about 12 hours a day, this is important. By planning to do this walk and stretch at the top of every hour, I can sit focused on my work for a full hour without having to use the restroom or refill my drink. And let me tell you…when I don’t do this, like on vacation, I tend to be more stiff and less flexible. My body starts to miss my hourly stretching.
The Apple Watch has this great breathing app that allows you to be guided through a deep breathing exercise for any number of minutes. After I complete my stretching at the top of the hour, I sit back down at my chair and launch the breathing app. I take guided, concentrated deep breaths for about one minute. This allows me to really oxygenate my body, center my focus, and get in gear for the next hour of work. Something as simple as one minute of concentrated breathing an hour has done wonders for my health and concentration. I am generally more calm, less tense, and more focused when I get back to work. And any time you can oxygenate the body, in a concentrated way, is a good thing. You don’t need an Apple Watch for a concentrated breathing exercise. Any phone app will do, or simply a stop watch and a consistent breathing exercise for that time frame. Give it a shot and see if you experience similar benefits.
I challenge you to pick one activity that you could implement into regular intervals throughout your day. Commit to performing this activity at the top of every hour of your working day. Only perform the activity for a minute, that way you can knock it out and can’t say you don’t have time. Everyone can take a minute. You may be thinking, I can’t do many push ups, so how will this help? Well, today you may only be able to do 2 push ups. But maybe tomorrow you can do 3. Before you know it, you are doing 10. Wait, how did you go from 2 push ups to 10? By practicing a few simple disciplines every day, that’s how!!! If you are not sure what types of activities you could do at the top of the hour, here are a few:
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
- Air Squats
- Jumping Jacks
- Concentrated/Deep Breathing
- A Variety Of Stretches
- Running In Place
There are tons of different things you can do, but this list is a pretty good start. If you can’t do any one of these activities well, then don’t sweat it. Start with a low number and work you way up. If you can’t perform the activity for a minute, just do it to until you can’t do any more. If you can perform the activity, pretty easily for one minute, then switch to another activity. I recommend you keep with the chosen activity for at least one month though. Once you are comfortable, you may want to add in a couple of these activities for the top of each hour.
Every little bit DOES help. My hourly stretching and breathing really helps me to stay calm, focused, and less tense in a busy world. Simply planning little things like a minute of push ups, stretching, or breathing at regular intervals throughout the day combined with committing to doing these things daily, can result in huge benefits. To have to go to the gym every day can be tough for some, but one minute of push ups, sit ups, or jumping jacks can be squeezed into any hour of any day. But as we know…the things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. I implore you to take the challenge above and integrate these little things in your day and be consistent with them.
EVERY LITTLE BIT DOES HELP!!!