Earlier this week, we posted an article on New Year’s Resolutions where we asked the question “Is there a way to sit less and stand or move more?”. Recent literature suggests that high amounts of sitting cannot be compensated for with occasional physical activity (even if that amount is greater than the current minimum activity recommendations). In other words, even if you are an extremly active person, your risk of dying from all cause mortality is the same as someone who is inactive, but who spends only 1/2 the time sitting that you do. See…sedentary behavior is really a killer!
So, how can you decrease your sedentary behavior (time spent sitting)? We’ve included some fun examples below, but we’d love for you to comment and add your own favorite ways to be active!
1. During your kids sporting events, stand rather than sit. Even better, walk around the field or up and down the stadium stairs!
2. Shut off your TV. I’m amazed by how many people complain that they don’t have time for exercise, yet they spend 1+ hours a night watching TV. If you have a show (or football game) that you don’t want to miss, go to the gym and watch it. Trust me, you’ll end up spending more time doing cardio than you would have otherwise.
3. If you must sit while watching T.V., use the commercials wisely. During commercials, complete one or two sets of crunches, pushups, and squats. With the average commericals lasting between 2-3 minutes, you’ll sneak in a great workout!
4. Play a game. There are plenty of new high-tech video games that encourage you to move. BUT-I’m sort of old school. What about games like twister, spoons, tag, red rover, etc? These games are super fun and great for the entire family!
5. Be social. Join a community league. Think softball, running club, partner tennis, etc. There are plenty of ways to be social while being active at the same time. The next time you plan a girls night out, suggest a night on the town dancing. Just 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous dancing will burn 260-430 kcals (for a 150lb woman)! So get out there and shake your groove thang!
6. Park your car futher away from the store. Those extra steps really add up. Curious about how many steps you walk a day? Try using a pedometer or accelerometer…these devices are wonderful tools to keep you motivated and on track!
7. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Simple…but it works.
9. Walk your shopping cart back into to the store. Think about it……why have we converted to a society where the store hires employees specifically to move the shopping carts from outside to inside…..simply because we (the customer) are too lazy to do so? Ugh. Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine?
10. Convert your office. If you can afford a treadmill desk, wonderful. If not, try making your own (it can actually be relatively cheap!). Or, simply raise your computer so you stand, rather than sit, while using the computer. Lastly, if you must sit, try using a fitball to sit on. You’re posture will improve instantaneously!