Is it just me, or are we sitting more these days?
So many jobs these days involve more sitting work, whether it’s typing out emails and reports, enduring long in-person or Zoom meetings, or reading lots of emails and training materials.
Even if we have more physically demanding jobs, it seems like our computers, smartphones, TVs, and other tech call for more and more of our time. And usually, using that tech means a LOT of sitting.
Actions (or Lack of Actions) Have Consequences
As our lives have grown more inactive, our bodies and brains have been paying the price.
Sitting for long stretches of time can have terrible long-term effects on our bodies. According to the WHO, a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and lipid disorders - and DOUBLES your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
It’s not just our bodies that suffer when we don’t move enough, though. People with sedentary lifestyles are at significantly higher risk for depression and anxiety, and people who already struggle with mental health find that their conditions get worse when they’re physically inactive on a regular basis.
And the worst part of all this is that all of these risks are so easy to prevent!
But I Don’t Have Time!
So, if an active lifestyle is so important, why do we feel it’s so impossible to achieve?
Maybe it’s because we hear “active lifestyle” and think of gym memberships, 3-hour long workouts, protein powder salespeople, and tight exercise clothes. Or, maybe we’re feeling so swamped with the responsibilities and chores of life that we can’t bear the thought of adding one more thing to the list.
I get it - we’re all busier than we want to be. Who wouldn’t want to magically add a few more hours to the day? But I have some great news for you - switching to an active lifestyle doesn’t have to mean massive life changes or a big time commitment.
Active Lifestyle = Small and Easy Changes
The current rule of thumb for achieving an active lifestyle is performing 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Sounds like a lot, I know, but if we break it down, that’s only 22 to 43 minutes per day!
And, even better, a lot of this activity can be added to activities we already do every day.
Do you have an hour-long lunch break and find yourself staring at your phone to pass the time? Take a brisk 15-minute walk around the neighborhood (or around the office) to get the blood flowing.
Dreading the weekly house cleaning session? Turn on some great tunes and speed through the scrubbing and vacuuming - you’ll get an oxygen boost and a mood boost at the same time!
Tied to your desk all day? Set a timer every hour to get up, stretch, and climb a couple flights of stairs.
No matter what sort of life you’re living, you can find ways to incorporate brisk movement without sacrificing extra time, or spending tons of money on gym memberships or fancy equipment.
It Gets Better
Want more motivation? Here’s what these small changes can potentially do for you:
Improve brain health and reduce the risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s)
Prevent risk of multiple forms of cancer
Improve feelings of self-worth
Give you better sleep quality
Reduce blood pressure
Slow the progress of hypertension and type 2 diabetes
Increase your overall quality of life
Need Help Getting Started?
We owe it to our future selves to get moving and achieve an active lifestyle every day. The evidence is so clear - just a little extra movement is all that you might need to start solving some of the health problems you’ve been struggling with, or at least worried about.
Don’t know where to begin? We would be happy to help you find your way! Click here to launch your customized health care plan and take the first step on your path to wellness!