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Micradian Rhythms

The Rhythms of Life: Circadian + Ultradian + Micradian


We all know that circadian rhythms are connected to the 24-hour, day-long cycles of life here on planet Earth. The wisest among us pay attention to these ancient rhythms. (Again: circadian is from the Latin circa + dies = “around a day.”)

And, we’ve talked about ultradian rhythms as well. Ultradian rhythms occur more often than every 24 hours (ultra = “beyond”). Our bodies go through cycles every 90 minutes or so which is one of the reasons why you don’t want to work for longer than 90 minutes before oscillating with a little recovery time.

Today, let’s talk about something I call “micradian rhythms.” I made that up. (Hah.) Tiny little rhythms. I’ve literally set my watch to these micro rhythms.

Every 1,000 seconds (or 16 minutes and 40 seconds), my Timex timer counts down and beeps. That’s my cue to get up from my desk and move my body.

I usually get up and bang out a set of 10 burpees or hang from the pull-up bar for 30-60 seconds or bounce on my rebounder for a bit but sometimes it’s a cue to simply stand up for 2 seconds, shake my body out and then get back to cranking.

Why would I want to do that?

Well, I picked up the habit after interviewing three of the world’s leading movement experts: Katy Bowman, Joan Vernikos and Eric Goodman.

As we discuss in Movement 101, they tell us about the dangers of sitting all day every day and the fact that we can be active AND sedentary. As in, “I go to the gym every day on my way to work but… the rest of the day I’m pretty much sitting.”

That’s how I used to be. Worked out. But otherwise sat all day every day in crazy long stretches. Not good.


Today’s +1. You may not want to set your timer on auto-repeat but how can you Optimize your micradian rhythms a bit more today?

+1,000 + 1,000 + 1,000! 🙂