How much time do you spend sitting every day? A recent study released by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that you lose 11-14% of your productivity potential every day by just living an everyday life. Chit-chatting with the neighbor, watching YouTube videos, or planning an upcoming holiday requires practically no movement. In our everyday lives, movement is becoming less and less common as we rely on technology and transportation. This has a negative impact on our health and many doctors are actually calling sitting the new smoking. Dave Catudal walks us through some easy ways to incorporate movement into our daily routines to help combat the ill-health effects of sitting too much.
The human body is a miracle in motion. I’ve been in the fitness industry for close to 15 years, yet the body still never fails to amaze me – especially when it comes to movement. To put it simply, the human body was made to move. Studies have shown that from an evolutionary perspective, our genes “expect” us to move, and move often.
You can truly change your life by simply increasing your daily activity levels. Small, simple changes can make a monumental difference in your life. Get off the couch and go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Do anything but sit there and watch TV with a bag of potato chips for hours on end.
What can you do right now to ensure you’re getting enough daily movement and activity? Let’s examine a few smart methods to incorporate more “get up and go” to your daily life.
Move at Work
Take a walk at lunch or go chat with a friend over in accounting. Do a few lunges or squats throughout the day. A positive office trend in recent years has been “standing cubicles” which allow workers to stand while working, thanks to elevated shelves and ergonomically-friendly accessories. But even if you don’t have a standing workstation, you can offset the negative effects of prolonged sitting by conscientiously moving about throughout your day. Maybe even try stretching at work – touch your toes every once in a while to promote healthy blood flow and greater overall flexibility.
Move at Home
Beware of home sweet home – especially the time you spend in a non-movement state. Every so often, move around. Try a half-mile walk, and make it a habit. Check out a Tranzend Body Workout on YouTube and try one of our bodyweight exercises. Remember how fun jumping jacks were as a kid? Well, it turns out your gym teacher knew a thing or two about strength and flexibility – they’re great for a quick, efficient exercise.
Other ideas: Get out in the garden. Wash your car more than once a week. Put on some Ricky Martin, or whatever tune makes you groove, and have an impromptu dance party! Run up and down the stairs a few times throughout the day. Do some household chores that you’ve been neglecting – that fence still needs fixing from last year!
Rethink Your Gym Routine
Make it fun and functional. The goal here is to embrace full-body motion that will ultimately benefit your everyday activity. Follow a routine that makes your daily walk more enjoyable, or try a free-weight program that aids with typical household chores. Making exercise fun and something to look forward to is a great way to get and stay motivated. Rather than loathing workout time, a fast-paced nature walk with a lunge for every time you see a bird is fun, invigorating, and will have you exercising without realizing it. Another thing to remember is that your functional regimen will also help prevent needless injury. While it’s pretty impressive for a man to bench press 300 pounds, the actual benefit in day-to-day activity is negligible.
Move Every Weekend
Turn your weekends into an opportunity to get out and explore nature rather than sitting at home with a magazine. Everyone needs relaxation time, but getting out and being active will be more rejuvenating in the long run. Make a family hike into a weekend ritual, enjoying quality time with your loved ones while being active and appreciating the beauty of nature. Or, plan a picnic after a jog around the park with a few friends, rather than going to happy hour and then the movies. You’ll feel good about yourself and you’ll have a delicious meal waiting to reward you.
The benefits of movement and activity extend far further than simply looking good in a swimsuit. Developing a solid level of activity and range of motion in your younger years ensures that “growing old” doesn’t have to mean using a walker or being immobile. Take these tips or use your own to incorporate movement and activity into your life on a more regular basis. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re moving! Your body will approve, both now and many years into the future.