Embracing easy, no-gadget movement

Did you begin the year by purchasing a Fitbit, or a step counter? If so, you may have started out on the wrong foot.

While counting your steps is all very well, for me it completely misses the point. Simple, easy walking, without the demands of headphones or wearable fitness gadgets, remains the ultimate easy escape. It allows us to focus on the needs of our bodies, and to take some precious time out from the din of everyday life.

So why would we add even more noise?

Our advice at Simply Stride is to focus on that feeling of pure escape, and on walking for enjoyment’s sake. Try to connect mentally with your movement, which in turn will give way to a natural feeling of calm and contentedness.

Your escape will bring about positive, ‘feel good’ hormones and reduce cortisol – in fact, it’s one of the tricks to staying satisfied, trim and independent!

We’ve included some ideas and exercises below, to help you engage in the gadget-free moment at home. They will help you get to know your personal ability and find a technique to connect with yourself, so that you can take that practice out into your walking routine.

As you tackle each exercise and become more proficient, feel free to adjust them as you see fit.

Don’t forget to breathe!

Before you begin, try to focus on breathing properly. Breathlessness will stop you in your tracks, limiting your best life both physically and mentally.

We take a colossal 22,000 breaths each day, moving around fifteen kilos of air (no wonder we need to take in calories!) So take some time to harness those all-important breaths, an on establishing a true mind and body link that will increase your energy and overall feelings of success.

Now, onto our exercises. The following postures will preserve your muscle tone and bone density, whilst supporting the cardiovascular exercise of walking.

These particular exercises also attend to the abdominal muscles, which help support your vital organs and promote good posture.

Dead man’s pose:

  1. Lie on the floor, facing up. Lengthen through your heels and the crown of your head.
  2. Check that your hips and pubic area are level in a triangle, with none higher or lower than the other.
  3. Add a breathing technique if you like (see below).

Sitting pose:

  1. Sit with your legs extended. Lift out of your hips, ensuring your sitting bones are on the floor.
  2. Place your hands alongside your bottom, palms down.
  3. Lift out of the hips, dropping your shoulder blades down the back.
  4. Lengthen through your heels, and feel your quads gently engage.
  5. Add a breathing technique if you like (see below).

Breathing technique:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Place one hand on your belly, and observe your next six breaths without changing.
  3. Feel your stomach rise with each inhalation, and fall with each exhalation.
  4. Use your muscles positively, squeezing breath out of the “stomach” hollowing in the abdomen.

Conscious breathing is the easiest form of meditation, the driving process of metabolism, and the most basic part of yoga.

This type of breathing disconnects eating from the stress response equipment – a major cause of overeating or bingeing – and releases energy into every cell of the body.

Breathing techniques can be used to promote good sleep patterns, too (see our article on sleep for more information).

Remember that a huge part of the appeal of non-gadget exercise is just being in the moment. You do not think of the past, or of the future – just the here and now. That is true, blessed escape.

Find out more about how easy non-gadget walking can improve your wellbeing by booking a Simply Stride session, surrounded by a friendly group of like-minded people.

Call now to arrange your first session – it’s that simple! 07967 705547

K x

Feel better than ever