Joh's Guide to Living in Movement Today

Photo: Josh Richardson

Trends, info, schedules, seasons, likes & dislikes — these change all the time. This message is simple. Just move a little every day in ways you like. Here’s Johanna’s guide to living in movement today, just taking it one step at a time (written comfortably from the couch after a 2 minute flowy and somewhat inflexible floor break). 

1. Start now.

“I’ve seen this before scrolling my feed and it’s almost always right — unclench your jaw and loosen up your neck! I know it’s tense (aren’t we all!). Roll your head to the side, lift your arms above your head and then lower them down straight in front of you. Pretend you’re a ballerina for a moment. Feels just that much better right? You can do this from literally anywhere, anytime.” 

2. Start small.

“Movement can tend to be like a binge spring-cleaning. We make up 20 lofty routines at once and truly believe that we can do it! While I hope I don’t lose that delightful idealism, let’s rewrite that, even just for a week. Pick 1 small, small goal. Mine will be to lay on the floor every day (it feels great, plus it always leads to a little more).” 

3. Stand up when you need to and get a water bottle with a straw.

“My water intake is pathetic without it.” 

“What keeps any daily movement routine consistent is just remembering how I want to live and what I want to enjoy in a year, in 10 years, and when I’m 80.”

Photo: Josh Richardson

4. Forget about how you look.

I say this as a fellow overthinker and introverted peer. Feel it out, especially when you stretch! Sometimes I even try to do my shoulder mobility moves in the middle of a walk, in public.” 

5. You should have (even a little bit) of fun while you do it.

“What was your favorite sport or activity when you were 5? Emulate that. Bring that energy. For me, it was walking around with animals (any animal I could find) and looking for neat plants. Fortunately, that’s easy to do in any neighborhood, but yours can be too. Try a few wild baseball swings in the air, or a figure skating jump while you walk to your kitchen.” 

6. Try Pilates!

“Just do it. This is my current flowy and fun and functional movement vibe.” 

Photo: Josh Richardson

7. Just make it up.

“Sometimes it’s uncomfortable — ‘I’ve never tried this and do I look weird doing it?’ — and sometimes it’s uncomfortable — ‘My (back, knee, wrist, whatever you’ve got) doesn’t like this position.’ Try move through the first, but feel it out and work through if it’s the second. I love this about mobility, Pilates, and stretchy moves especially. If you change up your position a bit, grab a chair, rest on a cushion, or just hold a hard move instead of trying 100 reps, that will help. Confession: my ‘burpees’ are just planks, sometimes with my knees on the floor. But I’m still doing it! Just keep moving however you can.” 

8. Open a window or front door and take a deep breath.

“This one is easy, and fresh air will make you, your lungs, and your brain happy.” 

9. Be in it for the long game. “What keeps any daily movement routine consistent is just remembering how I want to live and what I want to enjoy in a year, in 10 years, and when I’m 80. I want to be creative and sit on the floor painting, I want to keep traveling and walking aimlessly through neighborhoods, I want to have fun with my family and still lift things around to rearrange my living room on a whim, and I want my back and core to feel strong, without pain, among many other things. The long game helps, plus I have more fun thinking about that.”