Getting started movement guide: Adding daily physical movement

The getting started movement guide has a very specific person in mind. 

If you’re feeling burned out from the way you’ve always exercised. If you have some training experience but it’s been a while. Or if you’ve never been able to build a consistent exercise routine this guide is for you.

The getting started movement guide is for you if:

  • You’re a busy parent looking for general health and fitness
  • Want to improve look good nakedness without following a routine
  • Are looking to feel more confident and comfortable in your skin
  • Don’t enjoy the gym or traditional exercise
  • Burned out but want to stay active

Who the getting started movement guide is NOT for:

  • Someone with a specific training goal (deadlift 400 pounds, run a marathon)
  • If you’re already in peak physical condition
  • Advanced lifting or training techniques
  • The gym rat that can spend all day in there
  • If your name is Chris Hemsworth or Gal Gadot

Getting started movement guide: The pyramid

meaningful movement pyramid

Everybody loves a good pyramid infographic, don’t they? Who would I be to disappoint you – so I made one.

At the bottom of a good pyramid is adherence. If you can’t be consistent, you will have trouble making progress. The key to consistency is doing things you enjoy and making those things easier to do.

This leads us to meaningful movement.

For many, meaningful movement is a keystone habit. Keystone habits make building routines easier.

As Charles Duhigg points out in his book, “The Power of Habit, ” keystone habits are…

small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”

For example, you may notice when you start exercising consistently or moving your body more it naturally leads to better food decisions. Keystone habits make building other habits easier.

Getting started movement guide: Meaningful movement

This is a picture of me rock climbing. It’s part of my meaningful movement. It almost takes no effort because I love it.

My friend David jumps on a trampoline every fricking day because he loved it. He does this for 30 minutes.

Have you ever jumped on a trampoline for 30 minutes? It’s fucking exhausting.

And this is what meaningful movement is.

Meaningful movement is exploring ways to move your body that you enjoy. Movement like this will make you feel good and won’t take a lot of effort.

Building fitness around meaningful movement improves consistency. And guarantees an active and healthy lifestyle. 

Examples of meaningful movement

  • Hiking (or walks with the dogs)
  • Rock climbing
  • Gymnastics
  • Pole dancing
  • Yoga
  • Paddle boarding
  • Kayaking
  • Dance lessons (in person or online)
  • Basketball
  • Muay Thai
  • Flag football
  • Skateboarding
  • Beat saber
  • Active video games

The excuses I hear from people that fall out of their traditional workout routine are:

  • It’s boring
  • too hard
  • no fun
  • I don’t have the time

Physical activity built around a meaningful movement routine punches all those excuses in the face. 

You already enjoy it, it’s not too hard and not too easy, it’s fun, and you create time for it because you WANT to do it. Thus, you’re much more likely to stick with it long-term.

But I’m supposed to go to the gym, right?

No, you don’t. You can build general health and a body you’re proud of without stepping foot in one. But maybe the gym is part of your meaningful movement. 

Enjoy Crossfit, Orange Theory, Spin classes? Cool – double down on what you love.

This doesn’t mean resistance training isn’t important. All this means is that you start with meaningful movement and see if it becomes a keystone habit for you.

Take action exercise: List 3 to 5 ways you’d like to move your body more. Treat it like an experiment. If you don’t like it, cross it off your list and move on to another. 

Getting started movement guide: Look for sneaky ways to move your body more

Walking may be the most underrated form of exercise in the world. Not only for the fitness benefits but for the benefits in mood and creativity.

In a study conducted at the University of Long Beach. Students that averaged 9,000 steps per day reported higher ratings of mood, energy, happiness, and self-esteem.

Regular walking can help:

  • Burn more calories in a day
  • Improve vitamin D by getting you outside
  • Relieve stress and tension
  • Get active recovery from strenuous workouts
  • You get more exercise in without as much effort

So look for more ways to move. Any opportunity you can find to walk more is to your advantage.

Discover sneaky ways to move your body

  • Park further away from work so you have to walk
  • Take the stairs instead of escalators and elevators
  • Never get on that awesome thing at the airport that teleports you from one place to another.
  • Ride your bike to places
  • Walk to the grocery store or other places nearby if you can
  • March in place during commercial breaks or every time Jim looks at the camera like this.

Jim Halpert looking into camera

Take action exercise: Jot down 3 to 5 sneaky ways you can move your body more today.

Getting started movement guide: Ready to start training

In his book “Strength Training For Life.” Shawn Phillips discusses the differences between exercise and training. 

Exercise: This is what we’ve discussed today. Movement for the sake of movement. You can build a capable body and health with this alone. Explore ways to move your body and double down on it.

Training: This is for a long term performance goal and is structured and progressive. This doesn’t have to be for a gym goal. You can train to get stronger to help with day to day life and activities. You don’t need to be an elite athlete to train.

If you find yourself thinking things like:

  • I want to improve my cardio for hikes so I can keep up with my friends
  • It would be nice to get stronger so that I can do my first pull up or lift heavy boxes without help
  • I’d like to lose some weight so I can get better at rock climbing
  • I love playing sports but my knee always bothers me. I’d sure love to strengthen it.

Then you’re ready to start training. I’ll cover that in the getting started training guide.

Personal coaching


Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash