Perhaps it is because I have been sitting more than usual (mostly in the car and at my desk) that I wanted to devote a post to the power of moving the body. Of course I am sitting as I write this but the sit-all-day phenomena really hit me last week after another day of bed to driving chair to office chair to dinner table chair to home office chair to bed. I was so thankful to be able to break up this routine a bit by going for a run in my neighborhood after an almost 2 hours in traffic but I am also working on ways on getting more movement in to my work day as well.
One tip includes making many more stops to the water cooler to fill up on water or hot water for decaf tea (my favorite lately is the Pomegranate White Tea from Trader Joes). The side benefit of so much more fluid intake (which we all know is key for good health) is that it increases the trips to the bathroom. More steps in my day!
Speaking of steps, getting a pedometer is another way to track and monitor your movement and challenge yourself to go a few more steps each day. If you can get 10,000 steps in your day that is the equivalent of walking about 5 miles!
Steps per day Activity Level
5,000-7,499 Low Active
7,500-9,999 Somewhat Active
>12,500 Highly Active
Another ways to get moving from your desk job…try a trip to your co-workers cubicle to give her/him the message rather than picking up the phone or sending an email. Take a walking lunch or walk to get your lunch instead of driving. Finding a buddy to do this with you may keep you motivated and make it more fun too. Use those stairs as much as possible and you can even do a few “sets” of stairs if the weather is not inviting you to go outside. Of course you can park farther away or get off at the bus/train stop just before or after yours and be sure to pick up the pace when you walk so that you can count it as exercise rather than a leisurely stroll. We like to say think about walking as if you were late for the train. This makes it a “moderate” intensity activity (vs jogging which would be vigorous intensity) and another good way to check is to see if you are breaking a sweat but can still talk (but not sing).
The American Heart Association and American Council on Sports Medicine recommend that to stay fit and maintain their weight most Americans get 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio for 5 days a week OR do vigorous intense cardio for 20 minutes 3 days a week AND do 8-10 strength training exercises (with 8-12 reps of each) twice (2X) a week. To lose weight atleast 60 minutes of cardio is recommended as well as the strength training.
You can break the 150 minute recommendation into whatever chunks suit your schedule- whether that is 10 min bursts throughout the day (but do at least 10 min) or longer chunks a few times a week.
How are you going to move more this week?
Check out the guidelines here along with some good tips on getting started.