Do you live a sedentary life? Chances are that if you live in the US the answer is "yes", with 43% of Americans failing to meet the physical activity standard of 150 minutes of movement a week! Even, if you are getting your 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day what are you doing with the rest of your day?
Health research is finding that inactive time is a higher predictor than physical activity for risk of chronic health diseases. Meaning getting in a good workout for one hour of activity and sitting the rest of the day still puts you at risk for sedentary related health issues. Those at the lowest risk for disease have varied and frequent movement throughout the day. Further, adding varied positions and movement to your life will keep your shoulders, back, hips, and knees happier longer.
While, getting in the gym for some strength and movement practice is a necessary and great start its not the end of the equation for optimal health, longevity, and body composition. We all need to move more everyday, throughout the day!
Here are 10 tips to add movement to your day…even when you are stuck at work.
“Run” errands on foot. Combine your “exercise time” with your “errand time” and walk to get groceries, mail packages, and see friends whenever possible. Walking to do errands has the added physical benefit of carrying awkward items. What seems like a drag will become a habit, and your habit will become a pleasure as you reconnect with your inner walker and your neighborhood too.
Commute to work by foot, bike, or bus. If it’s not feasible to bike or walk the whole way take the bus or train and walk to and from the bus stop. Not only is this better for the environment and traffic congestion, but it is an easy way to get a few extra steps in and will often lead to a happier start and end to your day.
Create a dynamic workstation. You have probably already heard before that sitting time is bad for you. But swapping one static position (sitting) for another (standing) isn’t the answer either. You’re still just standing there! There are many brands of desk components on the market that allow you to vary your position and muscle use while continuing to be productive, and many ways to sneak movements while at work. Make it so that you can kneel, stand up, sit down, and walk around. Further, get something to fidget with, tossing a ball or moving something around with your feet is a great way to say active and alert during the work day.
Take your work to go. Add walking to your work day by taking it with you. Take phone meetings on your cell outside, listen to audio books instead of reading, and ask colleagues to join you for walking meetings. You’ll be more energetic and creative in motion.
Sit down... Sit down on the floor. Floor sitting is one of the most amazing ways to change your joint configurations and work on your balance and strength. Why save your floor sitting for just the warm up at Ascent fitness? Choose to sit on the floor when watching TV, eating dinner or doing an art project. You don’t have to stop sitting in a chair or on a couch altogether. Just choose the floor more often. Then get back up (without your hands)!
Change your habitat. Start to consider where your sedentary habits are centered, and start changing the things that allow you to be comfortably sedentary. Your habitat is where your habits are at, and oodles of time spent outsourcing your body’s work to your furniture and tools is facilitated by your furniture-rich habitat. Keeping junk food in the house makes it more difficult to eat well, and the same goes for the setup of your home and office environment. If you’re not happy with your habits, consider changing it up to something that’s more nourishing for your body.
Change your habitat Pt II. In addition to removing items that promote you being sedentary, add items that encourage movement. Add a pull-up bar to a door way and hang on it when you walk through, get a squatty potty device to add squatting to toilet time, put common house hold items like dishes on the top shelf so you must reach or use a step stool to get them. Start making a list of all the activities you do in a chair shaped seated position or standing position and see how you can alter them.
Dress differently. This is my favorite tip of all. All of the above tips will come to you easier if you stop wearing constrictive clothing! When we wear restrictive clothing it literally sends signals to our brain to protect our body from movement and constantly discourages you from moving throughout the day. Try wearing pants that let you squat and bend over. Shoes that let your feet move. And shirts and jackets that breath and allow you to lift your arms overhead. There are more and more options for professional-looking clothes that are stretchy, comfortable and more breathable. Further, when you are put into a position where you have to move or lift something, restrictive clothing puts you at a higher risk of using poor form and injuring yourself.
Get outside. Just being outside encourages movement; new and unique movement. Walk around a park, go for a hike, play with your kids, do some gardening. Sit or lay down on your lawn. It doesn’t matter! Being outside is great for adding quality and quantity to our movement.
Get a buddy. Moving more alone is a great step, but moving with a community of people is better. Our Ascent Fit classes and community are a great way to add nutritious movement to your day while being social. Further, having a buddy will help hold you accountable to your new movement habits!
Share your #moveeveryday pics by tagging us @ascent.fit on Instagram!