Movement: It's Magic
We’ve all heard it before: too much sitting is bad for your health; try to exercise for at least a half an hour every day; a body in motion tends to stay in motion while a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Well, there’s good, science-backed, rationale supporting this advice. Too much inactivity produces a greater risk for obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart-related issues. And that’s just to name a few. Worse, it’s also been linked to increased mortality rates (think cardiovascular disease).
This is particularly prominent if someone spends more than half of their waking hours seated (read: sedentary lifestyle)—whether from working at a desk job or while enjoying leisure activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet, etc. Even long commutes factor into this formula.
Scary stuff, right? But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s all about addressing the lack of movement. If you can’t find time to hit the gym every day, or if a standing desk just isn’t your cup of tea, then look for unique and clever ways, by making a concerted effort, to supplement daily activity.
- Take a walk during your lunch break. Even better, ask one of your coworkers to walk with you. This will keep you honest, and give you someone to talk to. (Even a ten-minute stroll will do….)
- Stretch your body. For every half hour of inactivity, get up and move; roll your neck from side to side; spin your arms in circles; rotate your shoulders; squeeze your shoulder-blades together; do a couple easy squats, or practice diaphragmatic breathing (deep, even breaths through the stomach). It doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Do as the French do: walk whenever/wherever you can!
- Pop those earbuds in and dance around the laundry room as you sort and fold your clothes. Get that heartbeat going, going…
- (NOTE OF WARNING: Listen to your body. If, at any time during these modified actions, you should feel pain, nausea, dizziness or illness, stop what you’re doing immediately! Consult your doctor. Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive, individualized, nor a comprehensive list for physical activity. This post is intended as a general guideline only. Please treat it as such. Lastly, if you are seeing a physical therapist, perform the specific exercises as they’ve instructed for your personal use!)
We know that after a long day, sometimes the word exercise alone sounds exhausting. (Though, ironically, it’s that very activity which will spike energy levels, beat back that oppressive tiredness.) So fine, don’t work-out. Move instead. And think of all those health benefits….
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