Friday, April 12, 2019

Move More #4

We're a nation of sitters. TV binge-watching, desk jobs, and the allure of the internet all contribute to that fact that most of us spend at least 50% of our day sitting down. The more we sit, the higher our risk of first-world diseases of affluence: diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

We need to recognize that it's as important to decrease overall sedentary time as it is to maintain a regular practice of intense, formal exercise. How can we resist the call of the sofa and work more movement into our daily lives? Today's blog is a continuation of an occasional series on moving more.

Enlist Canine Support
Dogs are good motivators. A 2017 study showed that dog owners exercised 22 more minutes per day (usually in the form of moderate-paced walking) than people without dogs. No pups in the family? Consider offering to walk neighbors' or friends' dogs. A neighbor of mine put out a dog-walking request on Next Door and connected up with our dog, Sadie Mae, for weekly walks.

Master Mini-Workouts
Many people assume that healthy movement must take place at a certain time and place: 6:00 am yoga class or 7:30 am run at the high school track. But you can move virtually anywhere and anytime. For every 20-30 minutes you're sitting down, get up and walk for a few minutes. Every time you pass through a doorway, stretch your arms on the door frame. Standing in line at the grocery store, do a few lunges or stretch your calves. Whenever you get out of your car, reach to touch your toes.

Take A Stand
Try a stand-up option at your desk. Studies have shown standing moderately improves work-place performance but standing more undoubtedly increases your options for healthy movement throughout your workday. Try placing a book under the ball of your foot and stretching your calf. You can put your knee on the desk in a half-pigeon pose to stretch your hip. You will be more inclined to shift positions or walk down the hall to talk to a colleague.

Decrease Your overall sedentary time.
Find a canine partner to walk with. 
Choose mini-workouts throughout the day.
Consider a standing desk for your workspace.  

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food 

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