With colder weather and the holidays fast approaching, many of us will experience shifts in our fitness routines. If you are concerned that you will not be able to maintain your momentum remember this: frequency matters more than duration.
I was reminded of this personally last weekend. After finishing an 8 hour car ride home from a family event with J and T I emerged feeling pretty gross. After feeding T and putting him to bed, it was late and chilly outside. Nevertheless, I decided to go on a quick 20 minute walk. Just 20 minutes of movement made me feel 10x better.
Have you ever wondered why you feel less than your best after a long car or plane ride? The lymphatic system (which you can think of as the body’s sanitation center) needs our help to function. Unlike the heart, which will beat on it’s own, moving lymph (which you can think of as the body’s garbage collector) through our systems requires movement. When we are sedentary things can become quite stagnant and as a result we may feel fatigued or even ill.
Aside from the benefit to the lymphatic system, frequency of movement makes it easier to develop a habit. If you are always staring down the barrel of a 90 minute marathon workout session, you may be more apt to bow out. It is easier and more realistic to commit to smaller chunks of time, possibly spread throughout the day. As a bonus, you’ll keep your lymph moving more consistently and feel better because of this.
Instead of throwing in the towel and waiting for the new year to spur you into action, try moving whenever and however you can. Your body (and your lymph system!) will thank you.