Move More, Exercise Less

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Yes, I totally stole the subject “move more, exercise less” from a Peloton instructor. No, I don’t know which one. I embraced it in 2021, too. Which meant that while it was one of my lowest mileage years in running miles — although not the lowest — I still kept busy moving.

Pacing
I pace around while my tea is brewing (3 minutes for green, 5 for herbal) and I drink a lot of tea. You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in by doing that! Most of the time I will pace while talking on the phone, too. Some days I get in roughly half my steps just by pacing.

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Walking/Hiking
We walk Bandit almost every day. When it was warmer we actually tried to walk him twice a day. It’s not long or fast, but a short run and a Dogwalk will always put me over my steps goal for the day.

I don’t do crazy long hikes because I just don’t have the time (or I’m with Bandit and the hubs). Even just a 2 or 3 mile hike can rack up a lot of steps, though.

Strength Training
Strength Training generally doesn’t get me a lot of steps, although I do enjoy walking with lighter weights with Pahla B (good to do at my moms when the weather is bad, too — see her YouTube channel here). It isn’t about the steps, but it is about movement — as well as trying to retain as much muscle as I can.

Yoga
Yoga most certainly isn’t about steps, but it is about movement. I am on my mat daily, sometimes a few times a day, almost 365 days a year.

underwater photography of swimmer
It won’t get you steps, but it will work your heart & the rest of your body | Photo by Heart Rules on Pexels.com

Swimming
Swimming was a victim of the loss of a community center and the pandemic, although thanks to a friend I did get to swim quite a few times this Summer and it felt so good (thank you Running Buddy J!). I hope someday when we move there is a place for me to swim.

Final Thoughts
Would you believe that I’ve never run 1000 miles in a year? It’s true. I’ve come close. My walking + running this year did put me just over 1000 miles (combined).

I don’t really care, either. If it motivates you, that’s great, as long as you stay healthy and uninjured.

There are so many different ways to move — I’ve barely scratched the surface! The beauty of concentrating more on movement, less on exercise, is that if you can’t do one form of exercises, there’s always a way to move.

Recently I read an article in the NY Times about how 10k steps is a really random number and most of us don’t really need that daily. My base is 8k. Most of the time I’m over, occasionally I’m under — there was a time when that bothered me, but I’ve come to realize that for me, anyway, it’s much more about moving to counteract the sitting.

I think I’m a happier person because I don’t really care so much about my steps — I still track them — I’ve just come to realize that pushing myself to some arbitrary goal isn’t always the best thing for me. YMMV (your mileage may vary), as the saying goes.

Are you an exerciser or are you a mover?
How do you get more movement into your day?
Is your yearly mileage important to you?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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32 thoughts on “Move More, Exercise Less

  1. Being tied to computer headphones makes it a challenge but I do what I can.

    For me it’s leaving the house. I run at lunch lately and then go for a long walk after work. Unfortunately darkness has taken me to the mall but you can get many steps there. It’s also a great way to connect with your friends and catch up.

    When I had a Fitbit I’d track my steps now it’s only my yearly miles that matter.

    I don’t beat myself up about my goal. To me 1000 miles means I didn’t skip any runs due to sickness or injury. That’s makes me very happy to have a healthy year.

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      1. Being active is a good thing but I am sitting at a computer ALL day. You may feel the same way in the evening if you were in my shoes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, we’re just different people. I had a job where I was standing at a table all day, but not really able to move much. I would exercise in the morning & often walk after work but I had to get up early & therefore went to bed early. And I was a graphic designer for a long time; obviously had to sit at a computer for that, too.

        We’re just different & there’s nothing wrong with that.

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  2. I don’t track my steps–but if I run a long race, I do look at them, just for fun. I do track my miles–I am a runner after all–and always have a loose goal of 1000 miles in a year. Last year, even with my broken ankle and foot, I came close when I counted my hiking and running miles.

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    1. I am over 1000 miles when I combine walking & running (and I sometimes forget to track walking).

      I haven’t always tracked walking, tracking my runs tends to be more important to me. It’s easier to walk than run!

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  3. I agree, it’s so important to keep moving throughout the day!
    Being tied to a screen all day can make it very challenging.
    I like to get a reminder from my Garmin when I’m sitting to long. Then I get up, go out the door for brief walk and make a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember reading somewhere that if you ran for an hour in the morning but then sat for the rest of the day, you would be less healthy than if you just moved moderately throughout the day. So working out in the morning doesn’t make up for an otherwise sedentary day! If doing a tough workout every morning wakes you up and makes you feel good, great. But if that isn’t your thing and you just move a lot through the day, also great and possibly even better. Just keep moving!

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  5. You probably know I’m all about movement as well. I think I’ve surpassed the 1,000 mark twice (?) in my running “career.” Totally not a priority for me, either (though I probably have surpassed it numerous times when combined with all of my walking and stair climbing). We gotta do what works for each of us, individually 😉

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    1. Yes, you are very right that we all have to do the right things for us.

      I haven’t always tracked my walking mileage. With that, I’m definitely over 1000 miles pretty much each year. As long as nothing major goes wrong, fingers crossed!

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  6. I love the move more exercise less mantra. Sometimes I think the thought of exercise can be daunting but if you just add extra movement to your day it makes a big difference.

    I actually don’t know if I have ever run 1,000 miles in a year either. I agree with you about mileage goals – I think they are great but my focus has shifted to other forms of exercise besides running so the mileage goals don’t mean much to me.

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  7. I used to track my steps but then stopped because it was too much pressure. 🙂 Now I am content with “just” running because at least I am moving and that is all I care about. I like to have a miles goal to motivate me but if I don’t make it then that is still OK because any miles is better than no miles. But I am not saying that they have to be running related. It could also be walking, cycling, swimming, etc.

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  8. I don’t really worry much about my steps because they can vary so much. If I do a long run they’re really high, if I take a true rest day they might be super low, and if i strength train I might get in a good workout but hardly any steps. I feel like most days I get in close to 10,000 steps because of my runs but I’m really not great about moving the rest of the day, especially when Im sitting at my office.

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  9. It’s important to move during the day. My routine is a workout every other day and during the day of “rest” a slow walk + 30 minutes of stretching. Until now it … works.
    I track only the runs and not the walks.
    I miss my long session of swimming until january 2016.

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  10. I have a sedentary job so unless I’m pacing in my office I NEVER hit 10k. I now have a standing desk and I think this helps. I tend to have some form of movement daily even if it just is walking.

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  11. Admittedly, I’m not a very good mover! My job is so sedentary and when I work at home it’s even worse than when I’m at the office. At least at the office, I move around to the printer/ photocopier or to my colleagues’ offices. So on the days that I don’t run or hike, my actual movement is very little. This is something I will have to work on!

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    1. I totally agree that both movement and exercise are good. Great, really, so many people don’t do either!

      It’s not great to do some intense exercise and then not move the rest of the day — I’m just as guilty as the next person there! Always a work in progress.

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  12. I try to move often throughout the day even outside of exercise: standing, pacing, walk breaks, etc. A toddler and two dogs helps with those!

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