You’re sick of the commute to work. You’ve run out of things to discover in the neighbourhood. Your favourite gym is across town.
Moving into a new apartment can be exciting and life-changing. However, the process of organizing, packing and lugging stuff across town is a big one — and once you’ve committed, there’s no turning back. Before you know it, you’ll have a hundred boxes, weighing 70 pounds each, and 10 flights of stairs to climb to your new loft with a view.
One should not take the moving process lightly. You should also not overlook how a glorious move across town can also double as a killer training session. Do your body a favour and turn your relocation frown upside-down with my seven step guide for turning your moving day into a training day.
Fuel your body with what it needs, no exception. Moving is strenuous. Eating well the night before will help your body perform for an extended period of time so you don’t burn out or get injured over a long move. The night before my last move I ate a great big piece of fish along with some sweet potatoes and asparagus. The next morning, I had a big bowl of oatmeal with flax seeds and some eggs. The trick is to eat good fats and complex carbs because they give you sustained energy and fuel with minimal energy crash. Eat like you’re a high performance sports car that performs best on high-value fuel — your body is a Lamborghini.
Alcohol impairs your cognitive and physical abilities, and is extremely dehydrating. Moving also requires balance and coordination, so don’t make it harder on yourself by drinking the night before or the day of the move. It’s never fun to be nauseous when you’re doing heavy lifting, is it? Don’t drink. Period.
Sleep will prepare you for the huge day ahead. If you don’t get enough sleep, it will be very difficult to perform any repeated endurance tasks, like moving. If you need everything in your apartment organized, packed into boxes, taped up and labelled in order for you to be able to sleep, do that. Give yourself enough time to get the stuff you need done and out of the way so you can get eight hours of shut eye.
Contrary to popular belief, static stretching can accelerate the chance of injury before a workout. Holding a muscle in its stretch position for a period of time has been proven to be ineffective at physically preparing the body for intense exercise. Feel like stretching your quads? Don’t do it.
Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching is a great way to prepare the body for any physical activity. Dynamic stretching is less of a traditional stretch and more of a warm-up, it’s used to increase blood flow, your heart rate and muscle tissue temperature. Dynamic stretches also help to wake up the nervous system so, go on, do some walking lunges.
Lift with your legs, not your back. When you’re lifting heavy boxes, get low through your legs and hips – never hunch over and lift with your back. The closer a weighted object is to your body, the less pressure you will have on your back. Keep the furniture as close to you as possible while still being able to walk and move.
I can’t stress this one enough! It is absolutely crucial that you stop and take water breaks throughout the move. Imagine being mid-stair case balancing a heavy couch when all of the sudden you get a leg cramp. The ways this can become disastrous are endless. Muscle is comprised mostly of water so it’s important you keep them full and hydrated. Also consider an electrolye beverage throughout. When you sweat, you lose important minerals along with water so it’s important that you replenish both.
I even say this to my clients: after a ton of hard work, and accomplishing a goal, you can celebrate and refuel. My favourite after an intense move? A case of beer and a large pizza. Remember, this is a one-time celebration and not the beginning of a new unhealthy lifestyle – so enjoy it this one time!
Matthew Pauderis is a paid spokesperson for Sonnet.