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06 Jan, 2022

Celebrating the pillars of health: Phoebe Liebling on moving easily and mindfully

The second pillar of health is movement. Studies show us that moving our bodies as frequently as possible not only boosts metabolic rate which helps shed excess weight, but also combat chronic health conditions and heart disease, enhance our mood and reduce anxiety, upgrade quality of sleep, aid digestion and even improve brain health and memory. We spoke to Nutritional Therapist and Clinical Director, Phoebe Liebling to get her advice on how to move your body as easily and frequently as possible throughout the day, and how this supports your holistic health journey.


I could’ve labelled this as exercise or physical activity but I didn’t want to, as again this can summon up specific ideas as to what this ‘must’ be. Regular and consistent movement is more supportive of metabolic efficacy so they don’t need to be daily gym based workouts (although weight bearing activity is important in the long term) we just want to avoid being sedentary for extended periods.

Studies also show that any form of movement - whether that be lifting, carrying, gardening, or walking - will help to burn your total caloric amount by 15-30%. The more you move, the closer you are likely to get to that 30%, whilst also increasing muscle mass to improve metabolic rate. What's more, increased physical activity is likely to ease digestion as movement increases blood flow to the muscles in the digestive system to aid peristalsis, i.e. moving the food along the digestive tract more efficiently.

The basis for this comes from a need for a cause. The body is exceedingly clever (if you hadn’t yet realised!) and thus it would be wasteful and inefficient for it to put energy into doing unnecessary things. Movement creates stress on our musculoskeletal system so we reinforce bones and strengthen connective tissues, it moves our lymph so we excrete waste, it aids fresh oxygen flow in the blood, and if we get out in natural light this directly influences our energy levels too.

Top 3 tips on how to move more easily and joyfully:

  1. Always aim for 10,000 steps a day as this will improve metabolic efficiency, mental health and have a direct healthy impact on your microbiome. Make sure 2,000 of those steps are spent power walking in a green area or park during daylight to improve cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness whilst also releasing those endorphins to boost your mood and reduce stress. 10,000 steps is much more achievable when broken up into 2-3 smaller walks a day. Bite size is better than big inconsistent bursts that we can’t/don’t continue with. Another way to increase steps is by always taking the stairs or parking further away.
  2. Loosen up and dance whenever you can! For every domestic task on your to-do list, turn up the beat to your favourite songs and have a dance party. Dancing is not only a great form of movement to burn calories, but also helps with balance and coordination as well as activating the brain's pleasure circuits to help mental health.
  3. Focus on how to get moving whilst you work. If you can, swap your desk chair for an exercise ball or posture block to increase core strength, stability and balance. Incorporate these desk exercises (or 'deskercises') to break up your workday, aim for every hour or at least 3 times a day:
  • Desk lunges: Stand up, and take one step away from your chair. Bend your right knee, and place the top of your foot on the seat behind you. Place your hands at your hips, or clasp them in front of your chest, and lower down to 90 degrees on each leg. Rise up, and repeat 15 times, and then switch legs.
  • Lift your heels about one inch off the floor. Then begin to move your knees up and down, coming up onto your toes. Move faster or slower, or take one leg at a time.
  • Try desk yoga with seated half moon pose. Interlace your fingers overhead, and start by releasing your thumb and pointer fingers. Extend your arms straight, biceps by your ears. Square shoulders and hips. Point your fingers up and slightly back. Lean to one side. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Ready to start focusing on your health and getting back on track again? Let us help you on that journey with our meal plans. Designed to help you to feel the best version of yourself again and improve your overall wellbeing by supporting your nutrition, sleep, movement and mood by eating a healthy, balanced diet every day. Ranging from 1,100 - 2,000 calories, choose any plan from 3 + days to be delivered to your door fresh each morning. CLICK HERE to find out more and start creating healthy habits that last.