Sunday, October 28, 2018

Easy Ways to Be More Active and Less Sedentary

How can you add some activity to your every day life?  So much to do?  Commute to work.  Sit at a desk job. Commute back home and watch some TV or have some other screen time.  How can you switch up a sedentary lifestyle to a more active lifestyle?  And doing so will lower your risk of a number of diseases.  Just moving more can help one lose weight or keep off the weight you have lost.  And reducing your weight by 5% or more can lower your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.  An article in Verywell Health described, 9 Ways to Beat a Sedentary Lifestyle.  What are some of their suggestions and others you can try?
  1. Walking – aim for a 30 minute walk a day.  I used to commute to work, have a desk job, but planned a walk with friends at lunch every day.   No time for 30 minutes?  Then take three 10-minute walks each day. If you commute by bus or train, then get off a few blocks before your stop and walk the rest of the way.   In the morning and at night take your dog for a walk.  Go for a walk in the neighborhood after dinner.
  1.  Stairs – skip the elevator and choose the stairs.  So many people choose the elevator when they are going up or down just one level.  I had a student that was a security guard.  When walking around the building she began always taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  She began to lose some weight and she said she felt a lot better.  And stair climbing is a way to add some more vigorous exercise into your day.  VeryWell notes that stair climbing burns “eight to nine time more energy than sitting.”  In Sweden, they wanted more people to take the stairs instead of the escalator.  They changed the stairs into piano keys.  You “played” the piano as you climbed the stairs.  They found 66% of the people choose the stairs over the escalator as it was more fun.  
  1. Stand Up – answering the phone at your desk, stand up to take the call.  VeryWell suggests standing up every 20 minutes or so.  Take a break and stand up and walk to the water fountain.  Stand up and walk over to a colleague instead of sending an email. 
  2. Move during commercial breaks – instead of watching all those commercials, get up and move.  A good time to get in a few push ups, sit ups if you are trying to shape up, or stand up and march in place.   Or stand up and do some stretching.  Or finish washing the dishes, cleaning the counter, folding clothes.  Anything that will get you moving.  One exercise physiologist suggests stretching five or six times a day.
  1. Park far away – this is one of my favorites.  My car is always FAR away.  This will easily add some steps to your day.  And these extra steps add up. 
  2. Pedometer – get a pedometer or use an App for your phone that will track your steps.  The first week just see how many steps you are walking each day.  If short of the 10,000 steps a day, then try to add 500 steps a day to your average.  In a week or two, add 500 more steps until you get to the 10,000 steps a day. 

This week, try to sit less and move more.  Good for your heart, your waistline and your overall health.

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