Insights from the author
It’s always tempting to look at the final stretch of the year and think, “I’ll just put my head down, plow through, and hope to recharge over the holiday break.” This mindset seems to be even more prevalent than usual this year. We’ve seen Personal Readiness Index scores begin to dip, especially around Performance Movement. When you look at the effect movement has on creativity, mental agility, emotional control, decision-making, and more, it's undeniably a strategic must. It’s also the first thing to go when a crisis hits or load gets high. Letting go of this crucial foundation at the end of the year when teams are being transformed, strategy is being analyzed, and products are being launched presents a significant risk to you and the business you serve.
Do you have a plan to keep movement as a strategic must and support your Personal Readiness?
How to start and maintain a movement routine
The biggest hurdle to getting movement during busy periods is the perceived absence of time to do it. The best way to avoid this is to anchor your movement windows to reliable and known transition points in the day. The most common time points include immediately after waking, right before or after lunch, and after completing work/arriving home.
These anchors make it easy to create and maintain the habit of moving throughout the day. These movement windows could be as little as one minute or up to sixty minutes, depending on what’s possible.
Create options, and not moving won't be an option.
Plan several simple options. You won't feel the same way every day, as your daily challenges, load, and fatigue fluctuate. You ensure you’ll get some of the brain-boosting benefits of movement by having several options, no matter how you feel or how much time you have.
Here is a sample plan, from an ideal day to the minimum you could do no matter what:
_First thing in the morning
Option A: 30 minutes of interval training (1 min work/30-sec rest)
Option B: 10 minutes TIGNUM Daily Prep movements (find on TIGNUM X)
Option C: 1-minute march in place / 1-minute toe hopping
Option A: 15-minute walk
Option B: 5 minutes of active stretching
Option C: 2 flights of stairs
Option A: Family/pet walk
Option B: 10 minutes of wind-down stretching
No need to have overly complex movement routines or be dependent on a lot of equipment. Keep it simple, and remember that some movement is better than no movement.
Move purposefully to fuel the brain - mind the intensity.
Heavy or intense physical training can result in a condition known as overreaching. It can result in disrupted sleep and mood, physical fatigue, and soreness. These symptoms are Personal Readiness killers and are not helpful to your performance at the end of the year when your emotional and cognitive load are already high. This is not the time to train hard physically, especially if you aren't used to doing so. Get just enough intensity and duration to keep you energized and feeling your best. In the TIGNUM Lab, we’ve consistently seen reaction time and impulse control improve by 5-10% after as little as one minute of moderate-intensity movement. At the same time, short interval training protocols like Martin Gibala’s “One Minute Workout” have shown improvements in maximal oxygen consumption on par with much longer bouts of steady state running.
Don’t leave your Personal Readiness to chance as you close out this year. Lean into simple performance tools like strategic movement to make sure you don’t leave any impact on the table.
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts.