Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Experiment in Non-Sedentary Living: Moving All Day vs. 1-Hour in the Gym

Hikes are becoming routine to increase our movement.

Hiking for more movement.

In spite of going to the gym for an hour a day, most days, I feel like my life is missing more movement. But, how could that be? I go to the gym almost daily. Surely that’s adequate.

Or, is it?

I took a look at our lives recently and realized there’s just too much sitting… whether it’s eating food at the table, working on computers, playing video games, watching TV, or reading, I had to admit that we’re members of the species homo sedentarius.

Sitting this much just doesn’t feel right. And research says that “sitting is the new smoking,” meaning deadly… even for people who exercise daily! Yikes.

So, on a whim I suggested to Greg that we get rid of our couch, which would make us move more. It was just an idea that made sense to me.

He wasn’t buying it. I mean, who doesn’t have a couch?

Well! Turns out, I’m not the only one to think about this. Apparently there is a movement (pun intended) known as “furniture-free” and I can’t help but be intrigued. There’s even experts on the topic. When Greg heard Katy Bowman, ummm, an expert, he realized it wasn’t just a crazy idea of mine – people are doing this.

Long story short, we got rid of our couch. (Gasp!)

Not only did we ditch the couch, but we also got the dining room table out of there, too. (Our parents think we’ve gone crackers… they just don’t get it. We’re kind of used to that by now.) You see, Katy says, “Exercise is not equal to movement.” I agree. Yes Yes Yes. We need to move more. You can’t go to the gym once a day and call victory. We need to move our bodies in all sorts of ways. Most of all, we must avoid what Katy calls “repetitive geometries,” which is when you are always in the same position, like sitting. By moving more, we benefit our circulation, lymphatic system, musculoskeleto system, brain, cells, digestion, and so much more.

It’s been a few weeks, and the results are in: It’s. Awesome.

Our entire living area opened up massively, making room for tons of movement. All day. When we watch TV, we sit on pillows on the floor, or just right on the floor. Or, we stand, squat, dance around, sit on a balance ball, rebound, stand on balance pads, etc.

Balance ball ready to use! So fun.

Balance ball ready to use! So fun.

 

You see, when you sit on the floor, it’s not the most comfortable. This MAKES you want to get up, move, and change positions… all of which are good for your body in more ways than you can imagine.

Pillows galore

Pillows and blankets galore

 

See this great(!) little video of Katy’s for more inspiration:

 

What about our dining room table? We moved that upstairs to the bedroom where it’s now a lego/project table. We moved a low coffee table into the living area where we sit on pillows, Moroccan style, for meals. We also have a project table in our studio area (art, work, projects, etc.), so in the event we have company who aren’t keen on the floor, ehem… our moms… we can sit there.

Dinner, anyone?

Ferakh Maamer, anyone? (Spiced chicken stuffed with couscous and raisins.)

 

I FUCKING LOVE IT!

This is one of the best things I’ve done for my family. We move so much now!

Although we’re not totally furniture free, making these changes is even better than I had imagined. It feels so right.

Check out our gear…

Balance pods, great for kids and adults.

Balance pods, great for kids and adults.

I started buying things to make our living area more like a jungle gym, though I told Kamea it’s all for… wait for it… NINJA TRAINING. I mentioned a few things above, but we have:

Kamea loves it. She’s moving and playing around much more. Her imagination runs wild as she’s walking across the balance pods, careful not to fall into the HOT LAVA.

Best rebounder: Bellicon. Our blue Bosu ball too.

Best rebounder: Bellicon. Our blue Bosu ball too.

 

I also moved my desktop to a treadmill desk so I can use the computer while standing or walking. It’s worth every penny.

Love my treadmill desk. Moving while working - smart.

Love my treadmill desk. Moving while working – smart.

 

Here’s a cool thing… want a perfect standup desk for your 5-year old? They’re called “grownup desks minus the chair.”

Kamea's standing desk.

Kamea’s standing desk.

 

So, what’s the experiment? Now that I’m moving much more, all day long (let’s not forget all the time standing in the kitchen while cooking), and now that I can peacefully practice my meditation, yoga, and qigong because Kamea is cool with me doing that, and if I hop to a spin boutique to grab a spin class from now and then since I loooooove spin (hey, it’s where I learn all the cool songs that are out now)…

DO I NEED A GYM MEMBERSHIP?

I’m thinking perhaps not.

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