Sitting. Little to no movement during the day. We’ve all been guilty of it at one point in our lives. But did you know research shows that excessive sitting can actually lead to life-threatening medical problems?
Not only does sitting for an extended period of time increase your chances of obesity, but it also increases the chance of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, different types of cancer, and of course, back and neck problems.
Let’s take cardiovascular disease for instance. A long-term weakened ability for the heart to pump blood causes heart failure, meaning it does not happen suddenly. The American Heart Association shows that just 30 minutes of walking 4 times a week significantly decreases the risk of heart failure. However, adults who are not physically active have a much higher likelihood of having serious heart issues. What does this prove? That in many cases, heart failure could have been prevented, had the individual incorporated more physical activity into their daily or weekly routine.
But maybe things have gotten harder during this last year, and we understand that! With COVID-19 and many people being forced to work from home, becoming less active and succumbing to more couch time can tend to happen. But it’s never too late to make a change! The goal is to find some sort of exercise that you enjoy and can stay consistent with. Remember, consistency is key! So, whether it’s joining a softball league or a gym, doing virtual workouts with a friend or walking with a neighbor – find something that you will enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel so much like a chore. Plus, finding a workout partner or group will help you stay accountable on the days when you just don’t feel like moving.
But “what are some other ways I can move,” you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Below are 8 ways you can minimize your sitting time and start incorporating more movement into your daily life. You can also download our FREE movement tracker!
Tip #1: Get a Standing Desk
This is especially important for those who are working from home and not moving around as much as you were when you were in the office. You can get a desktop converter that you place on top of your existing desk that just raises up when it’s time to stand. And what’s great about it being 2021, is that there is almost an app for everything nowadays! Just download a reminder app on your phone or desktop so you can get notifications when it’s time to stand and take a break from sitting.
Tip #2: Clean the House
We know…everyone’s favorite, but cleaning is actually a great way to get in some exercise, and helps you be productive in your own home! Whether it’s sweeping or vacuuming the floors, scrubbing the tub, dusting, or doing the dishes – cleaning will keep you on your feet and get your body moving. And let’s face it, it’s pretty rewarding to have a clean home afterward.
Tip #3: Put on a Podcast and Walk it Out
Podcasts are becoming all the rage these days, and they can be a great source of education as well! Put on your favorite podcast, or even audiobook, and take a quick 30-minute walk around the neighborhood. Not only will it make the time go by faster, but you might even learn a thing or two!
Tip #4: Laundry Squats or Standing
Are you someone who tends to sit while folding the laundry? We’ve all done it, so don’t beat yourself up. But you can start making laundry a little more active by standing or incorporating some squats while you fold. Just set your laundry basket on the floor and use those legs to squat down as you pick up each item of clothing. Trust us, you’ll feel the burn!
Tip #5: Pilates Workout
Pilates is a great bodyweight workout, and you can do it right in the comfort of your own home. Thank you, technology! No need for fancy gym equipment or a studio – just search for a Pilates routine on YouTube and get to moving for about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s that easy! It’s a great way to improve your posture and flexibility, all while building strength.
Tip #6: Park Farther Away
Ever go round and round for 10 minutes just to get a parking spot closer to the store? Who hasn’t?! Instead of parking so you have less of a walk, park farther away and get those steps in! Whether you’re going to the grocery store or in a parking garage – parking farther away will force you to walk more to get to where you’re going. And if you’re in a parking garage, you might consider taking the stairs!
Tip #7: Bike Around Town
Since Spring is officially here and Summer is closely approaching, now is the best time to dust off that bike and take it for a spin. Cycling puts a lot less stress on your joints and may be kinder to your body than running since it’s less weight-bearing.
Tip #8: Stand During Meetings
With a lot of meetings happening via Zoom nowadays, we have more flexibility to stand or take a walk during those times. Plus, being stuck sitting for hours at a time can become uncomfortable. Take your meeting outside, stand in the back of the room, or walk around while you talk business.
With most people spending extra time in their homes these days, we may be more inclined to fall into a more physically relaxed routine. Sedentary lifestyles and low-energy activities like sitting, actually lead to and worsen anxiety and depression for those who are at risk. Not only is sitting linked to more frequent brain fog, but it also increases feelings of stress. We tend to forget that the brain is also a muscle and, just like our other muscles, suffers from a lack of movement. Adding in some physical activity can increase blood flow and oxygen to keep our brain and body healthy.
Preventing these negative habits of becoming too sedentary and incorporating more movement is vital when it comes to our long-term and everyday health. With a wide variety of physical activities available these days, what excuse do we have? But we all need a little help sometimes, which is why we’re here for you! Schedule a visit with one of our ELH providers today, and we’ll help create a health plan personalized just for you.
Download your FREE movement tracker today!