The human body must be exercised regularly to stay healthy and fit. Most of us understand that it is important to move your body, and yet, the majority do not exercise enough.
A mom with small children probably gets enough exercise through her daily activities, but for many, sitting at a desk all day (or in an easy chair at home), there is a big problem.
People swear they don’t have the time or energy to exercise and for some, even the thought of it brings its own level of stress.
Don’t Go to Extremes
An exercise routine does not have to be extreme to be effective.
If exercise has never been your thing, look for ways to incorporate it into your daily routine. Walking is a good place to start. Studies show that walking 15 minutes or more at least three days a week has solid health benefits.
If you are among the many stuck sitting at a desk for eight hours or more each day – or not particularly motivated to exercise – getting enough exercise can be a challenge; but, there are ways to overcome the challenge.
Exercise at your Desk
You can do exercises right at your desk. Stand up every hour and take a full body stretch, lift your legs and turn your ankles, squeeze your bottom, do Kegels, and move your arms – all at your desk.
There are many more possibilities – check online. A good place to start is Web MD – Exercise at Your Desk.
Ask for a Standing Desk
Companies are finally becoming aware of the dangers of sitting more than four hours a day. Request a movable desk that has sit/stand desk options; or, at least, request they make standing stations available, it could save your health and your life .
If that is not an option, you can buy your own standing desk for less than $100. Not only will you be healthier, some people find they are more productive at a standing desk.
Walk During Your Breaks
Rather than simply moving from your desk chair to a chair in the break room, walk several laps around your office floor. If you walk at a good pace, you should be able to get in at least 1,500+ steps in 15 minutes.
If you do that twice a day, 5 days a week, that’s 15,000 steps a week, which adds up to an impressive workout.
Walk at Lunch
Choose a lunch you can carry such as a smoothie, cheese & crackers, a sandwich, or a couple of pieces of fruit. Then, go for a walk outdoors. It not only gives you a chance to move; but, offers a nice change of scenery.
Find a bench, sit down, and enjoy the fresh air – a wonderful treat even if it is cold. Just bundle up, soak in the sunshine, breathe deeply for several minutes to help you relax, then, walk back. This is a nice treat to give yourself and move your body at the same time.
Take the Stairs
When you need to talk to someone in another department on a different floor, forget the elevator and take the stairs.
Use every opportunity to get in as many steps as you can rather than emailing, instant messaging or using the phone. This is great exercise, good for your health, and builds stamina. It also gives you more face time with people in your office – always a good thing.
Another idea is to make it part of your routine to walk at least two flights of stairs in the morning and at night as you go to and from work.
Walk After Dinner
This is a great way to not only get some extra steps in during the day, it is also a good way to connect with your children and/or your spouse. You can also meet other walkers in your neighborhood – a nice side benefit. Studies show that deeper connections with family, friends, and neighbors helps lower stress
Exercise While You Watch TV
The U.S. Energy Commission reports that 97% of American households have at least one TV. Chances are you are among that number and like most people have your favorite shows. While watching them, use the time to exercise.
You can march or jog in place, do jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and work with weights. It is a great use of your time, that is otherwise completely passive – and it is so good for your health.
Plan Active Outings
Find ways to have fun that require you to move your body. Rather than always going out to eat or to the movies, look for activities that involve using your entire body.
Golf, tennis, miniature golf, hiking, skiing, swimming, walking on the beach, horseback riding, bike riding, roller skating and so forth are all fun experiences that provide good exercise. Some will cost you nothing; but, even if there is a charge, they are much better for you than always eating out and probably less expensive. There is a wonderful trifecta of benefits – you will be exercising, you can relax and have fun, and it is a great way to draw closer to loved ones.
Stop Parking by the Door
When you go to work, to the grocery store, or visit a shopping mall, you have a great opportunity to exercise. All that is required is to park as far from the entrance as possible. Not only is it an easy way to rack up a lot of extra steps, you can enjoy a few minutes of fresh air.
Move While You Are Waiting
Life is filled with “hurry up and wait” moments. You wait in line at the grocery store, you wait for the microwave to beep, you wait for the printer at work, you wait for your kids after school, etc. Each of these situations is an opportunity to add movement to your day.
Squat or jog in place, do waist turns, stretch your back and neck, carry small weights in the car to use while you are sitting. There are so many ways to grab a few moments of exercise, it can be fun finding new ones – it just takes a little thought.
To close our segment today, it should be obvious that the important thing is to MOVE – and walking is an excellent choice. It does not require equipment, it can be done in short bursts, and people of all ages and in different states of health can walk.
WALK whenever you can – and do it often. Walk at the speed which your body allows, take deep breaths and enjoy every minute.
Keep your body moving!
Talk to you soon,