We know there are simply masses of articles out there claiming to be revolutionary and helping you to age slower, enhance your brain health, improve your sex life and even live longer – well this is not that; nor are we trying to jump on that band wagon.
This is more going back to basics. Not feeling overwhelmed but instead feeling reassured and confident that small lifestyle changes can make a REAL difference to your health and wellbeing. That’s got to be worth a try….and in this article we’re all about MOVING MORE (so not just exercising regularly but actually being less inactive and sitting less every day). This is what can do lasting damge to your body and you will not be able to train even if you want to!
Dont just take it from me . . . According to Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D.:
“Even within physically active individuals, there was a strong association between sitting and risk of mortality… This is an important observation because it suggests that high amounts of sitting cannot be compensated for with occasional leisure time physical activity even if the amount exceeds the current minimum physical activity recommendations.”
This is so powerful. But if you need even more “motivation” here are some adverse effects on the body that can occur from sitting at your desk for too long…
Conversely, research has shown that engaging in moderate intensity exercise such as walking may lead to:
a 7.2% reduction in the risk of high blood pressure
a 7.0% reduction in the risk of high cholesterol
a 9.3% reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease
It is also known to help decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol and can help manage high blood pressure, both of which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Source: British Heart Foundation
It’s very much a common-sense approach and it is pretty straightforward in my mind, hence wanting to share with you, so you too can experience the benefits. Plus there is tons of evidence that exercise is important for keeping our bodies and minds healthy. So whether you are a gym bunny, a spinning class addict or you a newbie to exercise this matters!
And your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about taking charge of your health and over time changing your approach towards both exercise and your daily activity levels. Its worth adding here we also have quite a strong feeling about calorie counting as it often reduces the importance of exercise.
How many people do you know that set their exercise equipment up to count calories burned and quite frankly then obsess with it? I know a few!
This is so unhealthy if you want to get in better shape – mentally and physcially. So, if you want to feel more resilient, more energised, less stressed and more emotionally strong…here’s how…
We are all very different – shapes sizes, abilities, likes, dislikes etc, so we all have very different needs and will experience a different journey. But, if we go back to basics, all I want to try to communicate is that MOVING MORE, SITTING LESS and generally becoming MORE ACTIVE every day is good for your health in more ways than you can possibly imagine. The gateway (for some of us) is to simply MOVE MORE. And to get started it’s all about walking.
The daily target is 10,000 * steps (roughly equivalent to around five miles each day).
*10,000 steps has become a commonly-acknowledged goal for daily fitness across the world. Many targets around this figure have been published by public bodies). Monitoring ultimately helps guide behaviour change thus motivating us to move that bit more.
Think about how much you move during your working day? I bet your day isn’t designed around movement. But remember that we are deigned to MOVE and be active. Not chained to our desks, in our car, etc.
Physical INACTIVITY is one of the biggest causes of premature death (Source WHO)! Some say it’s as bad for us as smoking. I am not quite sure about this but I am convinced that prolonged sitting is problematic for our health and is also associated with poor choices when it comes to movement and food. And a couple of gym sessions a week is not an antidote to this. So even if you train well, and exercise regularly I still want you to think about your daily movement patterns and how long you are inactive?
The answer is simple – and is relevant to all able bodied individuals…. During your working day – you MUST sit less and move more regularly.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it” – Plato
As we mentioned before, you can’t open your internet browser without health and wellbeing tips being a main focus of the day. But extensive research shows that this type of advice really does have it’s benefits.
Similar to our blog, an article for www.theconversation.com also outlines the huge benefits low intensity exercising can have.
“We wanted to understand how daily light physical activity affects people’s metabolic health and their risk of premature death. We found that doing twice as much light activity cuts your risk of premature death by almost 30%. “
We understand it is tough to take that first leap and get yourself motivated. However, the benefits are just too beneficial to ignore.
Why not start by making small changes to your daily routine? Leave the car at home or go for an evening stroll after dinner… The smallest of changes really could make the biggest difference. At work to get the right balance, sit 20 minutes out of every half hour at work, standing for eight minutes and moving around for at least two minutes. Its all about incorporating movement into your day.
Here are a few ways you can remain active at work:
Stand up at work
Sitting for extended periods of time can increase your odds of diabetes, obesity and heart problems. Set an alarm and stand every 30 minutes or every hour to reduce your risk, burn calories and prevent lower back pain.
Take squat breaks
By working on your legs and core muscles, you actually burn more calories throughout the day, even when your body is at rest. So take squat breaks and tone your butt!
Take a walking break
It might not seem like much, but sometimes walking around your office or even the building or floor can provide a new perspective and allow your mind to clear. Set goals for yourself so you can find new ways to walk around and stay on track.
Stretching is one of the simplest and most beneficial exercises to incorporate into your daily work and life schedule. It doesn’t even require getting up out of your seat. There are stretches you can do regardless of where you are. As an added bonus, stretching isn’t just good for your body but can also help relieve stress. Just ask your Tonic Trainer about the Smooth Move workshop!
Straighten your back
A quick motion that can make all the difference at work is to correct your posture. Un-hunch your back, straighten and lower your shoulders, tilt your pelvis and sit with your feet flat on the floor. This simple alteration can help prevent back problems and prevent bodily fatigue when working long hours. It also keeps your back flexible and able to withstand exercises you do throughout the day.
Take the stairs
If you have meetings on another floor, or have to take the elevator to get to your office, take the stairs instead. It might seem tedious, and maybe even painful at first, but eventually it’ll get easier and easier to do. Soon you might even sprint up the steps and beat the elevator to your floor. Even if you don’t have to use the elevator and your desk is on the first floor, climb the stairs anyway, either before work or during breaks.
Sit on a Stability Ball
Switch your office chair for a stability ball. Just make sure it is tall enough to allow for good posture. Sitting on uneven surfaces can engage your core muscles and keep them working throughout the workday.
Stretch every hour
Stand up at least once every hour. Stretch your arms over your head and breathe deeply. If standing isn’t an option, do seated stretching and extend your legs on the floor out in front of you. Gently bend over to touch your toes.
Take standing calls
Taking calls all day can be boring and repetitive. Break the cycle by getting up and walking around. This is especially helpful if you are on hold. By using phone calls as a reminder to stand, you can more easily make standing or walking around a regular part of your workday without much effort.
Start an office fitness challenge
Get your co-workers involved and make it a challenge to be more active together. It’s always easier to make healthy choices when you’re doing it as a group and you have that support network there motivating and encouraging you. There are plenty of ways you can make exercise fun and social – maybe you can start a friendly competition to track your steps and see who can walk the most in a day, or you could organise group walks at lunchtime, or make a rule that every hour on the hour you all stand up and do ten squats.
To conclude, the message is to MOVE MORE – at any intensity, and the MORE the BETTER!
Visit our website to find out more about our hugely successful 60 minute Power Of Wellbeing workshop – Smooth Move – which is all about moving more and sitting less at work! Or download our PDF and say no to ‘just sitting there!’
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