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Introducing the Eat Move Groove 2211 MOVE Plan

 

To maintain health, enhance well-being, and get the most out of life, we need to move our bodies. The simple, sensible 2211 framework helps you learn to move in ways that feel good to you, energize you, and keep you strong and able to do the things you want to do every day.



Use the three pillars of the 2211 MOVE foundation to get yourself moving at least 33 minutes a day on most days:

 

  1. Purposefully move your body in ways you enjoy that get your heart beating deeper and faster than usual (aerobic exercise) for at least 22 minutes a day.

  2. Do strength, stability, and stretching activities for at least 11 minutes a day.

  3. Get up and move often during the day.

 

With the 2211 MOVE plan, you decide how you want to move your body, what feels good to you, and what you enjoy doing. Your activities might include walking, biking, swimming, golf, basketball, or pickleball. You can also build movement into your day while you get things done.

 

“I walk to get something done. I live my life by walking to get groceries, fill my backpack with ten pounds of food, and walk home,” says Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, PhD, teaching professor emeritus with Indiana University, Bloomington, and the coauthor of Fitness and Well-Being for Life. You might carry laundry up and down stairs, wash windows, or clean the house to be active.

 

Kennedy-Armbruster notes that everyday activities based around your family can also fit into the 2211 MOVE plan and keep us strong. “Lifting my grandchild helps me improve what I need to do. As my grandchild grows, I lift more weight.” That’s a natural progression of training our bodies to lift more weight naturally.

 

The key is to investigate what works for you and remember to be flexible. Perhaps you lift hand weights, or jugs of water. The key is to give your body something (or someone) to lift to help strengthen you.

 

Just as we have love foods in the EAT plan, it’s important to move your body in ways you love to move—in ways that bring you joy. That will be different for each of us.

 

First, find activities you enjoy doing. That may sound too simple, but we’ll continue moving our bodies day after day if we enjoy the movement and feel good doing it.

 

Take it from exercise physiologist Ann Swartz, PhD, codirector of the Physical Activity and Health Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her best advice: “If we enjoy what we’re doing, we’re going to stick with it.” Swartz encourages people to “figure out where you find joy in your movement.” This is the key to maintaining an active lifestyle over a lifetime.

 

What do you like to do?

 

Do you enjoy dancing? It’s a wonderful way to move to music. How about joining a Zumba class or taking adult tap lessons? Maybe you’d enjoy dancing at home to your favorite music—by yourself or with a friend or partner.

 

What did you enjoy doing as a kid? Maybe it’s time to get back to playing like we did as children. Engaging in play is also a key component of finding our groove. Running around and playing (and laughing) provides you with a whole host of benefits.

 

How do you like to do these activities? Do you enjoy moving by yourself, with a friend or loved one, with your pets, or in a group?

 

What time of day do you enjoy moving your body? Do you enjoy moving in the morning, during the middle of the day, or in the evening? Are you a morning person or a night owl?

 

Where do you like to move? Outside? Inside? In nature? On city sidewalks? Walking on the soft grass or a hiking trail? While talking with friends?

 

If you have a favorite activity you enjoy doing most days, what are one or two other activities you also enjoy? If you enjoy walking outdoors but the weather is really bad, or if you just want a change, what’s your fallback activity? Can you walk in the local mall instead? Or go to an exercise class at your local park district or Y?

 

What do you like to eat and drink before, during, or after you move your body? Having these foods and drinks ready and accessible can help you move more and feel better during and after your movements.

 

Make sure to consider any aches and pains you have and your current health conditions. Do you have physical limitations, such as an arthritic knee, that impact how you can move your body? If so, how can you still move within these limitations? What assistance can support your movement? Water aerobics, warm water exercise classes, or chair yoga may be great options. One of my favorites: deep water exercise at my local YMCA. It's a great fitness booster, enjoyable, social, energizing, and relaxing all at the same time.

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