31 Days of Movement: 12 minutes

I’d planned a Christmas Day run, and my achilles vehemently disagreed. I realize that I have had an issue with my achilles/ankle/foot for all of 2013, and this makes me feel discouraged. Still, I have kept active throughout the year, teaching Nia four times a week and additional movement on the other days -- walks, body weight exercises, weights at the gym, my Elliptigo, the elliptical and stationary bike, plus as much running as I could. 

Since it’s December and I’m moving 31 days out of 31 days, today will not be a total rest day. Still, I don’t need to do much, and I don’t need to do it intensely. 

A good option for me is to follow along with a Nia video. That helps me begin to learn some new routines, increases my mobility, gets my blood flowing and my energy circulating, and probably helps me sleep at night. My body will be better able to work out well tomorrow when I've moved a bit today. I don’t need to go hard or for long. If I’m happy after 10 minutes, I’ll keep going and if I am not feeling it, I’ll stop and do something else. Easy. Quick. 

That’s one of the most important things to remember to keep moving each day. Don’t make it a big deal, and be unafraid to go light and easy and to stop when you want. 

More magazine reported in 2011, “A number of new studies show that you can significantly upgrade your health by working out for less time than is typically recommended. ...For instance, in a recent Taiwanese study, researchers found that doing just 15 minutes of daily physical activity cuts your risk of dying over the next eight years by 14 percent and could help you live three additional years.”

The author, Melinda Dodd, suggests just 12 minutes of a moderate-intensity cardio exercise, such as climbing stairs, lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack by 27 percent. “In a review of two decades of data on 27,055 female health professionals ages 45 to 90, researchers found that doing just an hour of moderate cardio exercise (such as biking) each week decreased a woman's risk for heart disease, stroke, heart attack, coronary bypass operations and death by 27 percent.” It doesn’t have to be an hour at a time. It could be 15 minutes four times a week or 12 minutes five times a week. I know you have 12 minutes.

I have 12 minutes, for sure, and I’m spending them right now with Nia.