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Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Be sure to ‘take 10’

We are well into lockdown 3.0. People are back working and learning from home and it may be sending everyone a little bit crazy.

If you have a schedule for each day, which I highly recommend you do, are you putting in breaks? And more importantly are they movement breaks?

Before we look at why we should add in a 10-minute movement break, you first must look at scheduling in your 60 or 90 minute blocks of work. For the kids this may be 20-minute blocks. Then you should schedule in your 10-minute movement break.

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If you can sit and focus for 60-90minutes that is pretty good. I mean really focus. No checking your phone, hopping from task to task, making another cup of tea or opening the fridge for the 47th time thinking there will be something different in it this time. When we get into these unfocused states you can easily see two, three or even four hours just fly by without getting anything really done.

Why have a movement break?
The first thing you must remember is that our bodies are designed to move. We were not put on the planet to sit in a stationary position for any real length of time. Even as far back as the cave men days they used to sit in a squatted position when they ate. We need to move to wake the body up again and reduce the risk of stiffening up, both physically and mentally.

Another reason to add in a movement break is to activate the brain. There is so much research out there that shows when we move the body it wakens up parts of the brain that help us focus, concentrate and gives us the ability to absorb more information.

Also in the process it helps release happy chemicals within the body that simply make us feel better.
A movement break is also good for the mind and help you solve problems. Stepping away from a task, especially if you are finding it hard to solve or complete can be the best thing you do.

Some of the greatest minds in the world like Einstein and Darwin took naps as their break away from work and would wake up with the answer.

We already have the answers; sometimes we have to do nothing to achieve everything.

Has an answer to your problems ever come to you when you are in a completely relaxed state or carrying out a very simple task? It’s not by luck or chance, the answer was always within you. You just didn’t give it the chance to come out.

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What does your movement break look like?
I put ten minutes as a time that is manageable for most people. For you it may be less or even more.

Next step is to choose a simple routine, exercise or method to perform. For example, we do Facebook Live 10 minute Movement Break every Tuesday and Thursday which will include a stretch, fun movement game and some meditation or quote from a book.

Yours could be a walk outside, which I do at least once a day, bounce up and down to wake the body up before doing a five-minute meditation or follow a 5-10 minute yoga video on YouTube. Whatever it is, keep it simple and something you can do very easily with little to no set up.

Getting back to work
Once you have done your 10 minute break, it’s back to work. Sometimes this can be the tricky part.
Once we stop some people have it in their head that they find it hard to get going again.
If this is the case give yourself an extra five minutes to go on your phone, make a call to a friend and then at a time you have agreed or written in your diary, get back to work and focus for another block before repeating your break again.

I would suggest that you focus on doing this once a day to begin with. Focus on having one block of 60 or 90 minutes of pure focus on the task followed by a 10-minute movement break.
If you can add in another two or three into your day, then fantastic. It’s like an extra bonus.

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