Is sitting the new smoking? Between long commutes, hours sitting at our desks, and then coming home only to crash in front of the TV, we live an extreme sedentary lifestyle. It’s causing havoc on our health, but it doesn’t have to. Here are five simple ways to get fit while you sit, and stay active during the most sedentary time of the day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
Metabolism expert and author of “Forever Fat Loss” Ari Whitten explains, “Even if you work out at the gym four or five times a week for an hour, you will not undo the damage you’re doing to the body through eight to twelve hours of sitting on your butt each day.”
1. Set a Timer
Set a timer for every 20 or 30 minutes to stand up and stretch for 1-2 minutes. You can stretch, do some squats or lunges, yoga poses, march in place… whatever your work space and environment will tolerate. Bonus points if you enlist your co-workers to join you!
2. Go to the Bathroom
If your office has multiple restrooms, or even multiple floors, use the bathroom that is furthest away from your office. Walk up or down a few flights of stairs to use the bathroom. Walk to the bathroom on the other side of the hallway. It seems like a simple idea, but the steps add up, and help keep you moving.
If you work out of your home, and you have more than one bathroom in your house, use the same concept. Take your bathroom break in the bathroom that is the farthest away from your office.
3. Activate Your Seat
Ditch your traditional office chair for an active seat. If you work out of your home, the shift is much easier. If you work in an office, it may be more difficult, but not impossible. Even when you think it may not be possible to adjust your seating, all you have to do is ask. The answer may surprise you! I work in a non-creative government agency. Out of an office of 12 individuals, two people use standing desks, and three have stability balls or stability ball chairs.
Whitten continues, “The mere act of standing on your feet burns three times as many calories as sitting in your seat.”
According to Gaiam, “By sitting on the ball, you’ll improve your posture and spinal alignment while getting a powerful core-strengthening workout.” It helps to burn more calories, and it helps to give you motivation to keep moving and stretching throughout the day.
I recently transitioned from a normal chair to a stability ball chair in my home office and will never look back. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!
4. Shift Your Lunch
Do you eat at your desk while you continue working? Do eat whatever unhealthy meal is available at your company’s cafeteria? Or do you go out every day for lunch? Why not rethink lunch time. Even if it’s not five days a week, make a commitment for one, two or even three days a week to go for a walk for 3/4 of your lunch time and then come back and eat a packed lunch at your desk.
If you do go out to eat, find a restaurant that you can walk to and bonus points if it’s at least 1/2 mile away!
Not only does this add steps in your sedentary day, but walking during your lunch break also helps to rev up the brain and creativity!
5. Enlist a Buddy
Life is always better when you have a buddy who has your back. Buddies help keep us accountable. Buddies help to make it more fun when making changes. Buddies keep us on track.
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and heading out for my sitting break.HERE.