How I Schedule My Work Day & My Problem With The 4% Workout
First, listen to this:
Good. Now that you have a good understanding of pretty much everything I believe in, we can continue.
***I'll start it all off with a disclaimer: Yes, there is a lot of flexibility in my day and plenty of time for long walks, cooking glorious meals, and midweek trips to the mountains. But with this comes a very flexible and fluctuating income and pretty much a complete lack of security. This is the lifestyle I have chosen and I own and rock my decision. ***
I go into detail enough on my eating habits on my social media and in previous posts so I will refrain from beating that dead horse again.
- 7:30-8am: I wake up naturally without an alarm clock. This time varies throughout the year depending on the amount of light. I highly recommend ditching the alarm. Let your body wake up when it's ready. I'll lay in bed for a while doing some breath work while assessing how I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- 9am onward: Here is were I get the bulk of my work done. I'll work on my computer either writing, formulating, life styling, responding to emails, etc. This is all done on the floor in a variety of seated positions, constantly in motion adjusting my body and alignment. Here I like to toss a 5 minute head stand in to activate my shoulders and spine after being slumped over my laptop.
- Midday: I start walking to break up my day. Usually about 4-5 kilometres. This walk will either take me to the gym for a designated movement session or to a coffee shop do continue my work. Say I go to a coffee shop and finish up some client work first, I try to pick a location that is still a good distance from the gym so I can get another few kilometres of walking in. Typically I choose a place where I get to walk near the river so I can walk on the grass or dirt paths instead of sidewalks.
- Anytime after 4pm/early evenings: If I've finished my work or just can't handle the screen anymore I pack up my things and start my walk home. A lot of ideas get processed here. I play back the tape of everything I wrote during the day and make mental tweaks. This usually leads to me working a bit more when I get home. Not a lot, I don't like working in the evenings as I am way more focused in the morning. I keep my evenings reserved for food and straight up chilling.
- Bedtime: Screens in the bed are a no-go for me and I have my Twilight app on my phone set to filter that lewd blue light in rhythm with the setting sun. Here I pick up my notebook and scribble down points on why my day went well or little things I am grateful for. This is a really critical step for me that changed my habit of thinking of negative things before I sleep or awakening past anxieties.
As you can see, movement is a big part of my day. I'm sure you've heard the line, "a workout is 4% of the 24 hours you have in a day"?
I don't set aside 4% of my 24 hours for a workout. I prioritize movement and build it into everything I do.
Take a look at an ICU monitor that is flatlining. If the wave blips up 4% I'm pretty sure you're still dead. Blunt, yes, but still true. So what are some other ways I incorporate more movement into my day?
- To get my heart rate up, I run up a hill at the end of the day with a backpack full of groceries or canvas bags in tow instead of running on a hamster wheel at the gym.
- I walk on different surfaces all the time and try to avoid concrete. I do this by jumping on elevated curbs or from rock to rock, walk on the grass or gravel, or pick different routes with natural paths.
- To get from room to room at home, I crawl on all fours or do a sideways primate crawl.
- I hang off my stair railing all the time.
- I leave the city and hike at least once a week. No two steps in nature are alike and the quality of movement for your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and core cannot be recreated in a gym. Not to mention the mental clarity that comes with it.
I've always walked as my main mode of transportation. But for years I believed that in addition to that, one hour of yoga 3 days a week was enough. I mean, I looked reasonably fit and felt ok. From there I added running to my repertoire, then high intensity metabolic training. Again, these additions were added in short bursts a few times a week and I continued to be sedentary for most of the day. For work, I've never had a desk job, and spent years on my feet in retail. But the problem with standing all day was the quality of standing I was doing. It was shit. One hip jutted out this way, ankles rolled inwards, pelvis thrusted forward, and to boot, I did it all on shoes with heels, further putting my body on an unnatural axis.
Adding more high intensity workouts while not really moving for 96% of my day only added to my inefficiencies. Over the years I have shifted my focus to moving holistically. Moving diversely and naturally, as the human body is made to is akin to eating a diet rich in a variety of foods that humans are made to. It's like only going to the gym to just work your legs and only eating bananas. That logic is frankly, bananas.
Basically what I'm trying to get at here can be summed up by Katy Bowman in her newest book, Diastasis Recti:
Modern living does not require that we move, and to add insult to injury, it actually limits full use of our body. For example, a couch, although super comfortable, limits the full use of your ankles, knees, and hips. It sets the distance over which your leg and hip muscles can work. If you're leaning against something right now, That something is doing the work your core muscles would be doing were that thing not there. We've effectively outsourced the use of our bodies to our stuff [emphasis mine] . And then when we ask our bodies to hold us up and hold stuff in, they fail. Make no mistake, it's not only the tissue that's broken; it's the habitat.
You already know that eating a balanced diet rich in whole and nutritious foods is necessary to live a long and fulfilling life. Don't limit yourself when it comes to your movement diet.
Want to know more and expand your movement practice? This guy, my teacher, my life partner, and mountain man, can teach you things no one else can.