We all lead busy lives. Rushing from one meeting to the next event, barely finding time to eat let alone work out. And let’s not even start on what we call food when we are in a hurry. Skipping meals, sitting behind a desk for most of your day to end the day sitting on the couch to relax. How familiar is that? It is no surprise that in our current culture we sit a lot, it is the way of our life. We have grown accustomed to sitting and it is killing us – literally.
What if I told you that simply spending 30 minutes walking outside or doing a simple body weight routine 5 times a week could dramatically decrease your chances of death? It sounds crazy but it’s true. According to a recent National Institutes of Health study that followed 250,000 people between ages 50 and 71, those who were just slightly active but did not meet the exercise guidelines (30 minutes 5 times a week) were 30 percent less likely to die than those who were totally inactive. Stepping that up to moderate exercise decreases your chances of death by another 12 percent (1). Crazy, right?
Now to the fun stuff, getting active! I feel that most people, myself included, get bogged down with scheduling and planning exercise so that the thought of actually working out is intimidating and difficult, does that sound familiar? My advice: Start small and try often. Things like parking farther from your work or store so that you have to walk farther, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing calf raises while washing dishes or brushing your teeth are simple and easy steps that get you burning calories and developing muscle strength. Seriously, it is that easy.
Let’s address the elephant in the room – watching TV. We all do it, hours of watch time vary but we all watch TV daily – Myself included. You know what I do while watching TV? I stretch, I do planks, small work outs that involve holding and breathing. That way the show takes my mind off what I am doing and I don’t miss the new GOT. Commercials make great counters – hold and plank for all the commercial breaks or use the commercial time as your “recovery” phase. Seriously, I am not joking, getting fit and reducing serious health problems is that easy.
What I have found is that you need to find things you enjoy and make them work for you. Certain movements can create fantastic body weight exercises, dancing is wonderful, running or cycling is great – Like to knit? Do leg lifts or squat pulses while you count your stiches! If you have a passion I can turn it into a work out!
I hope I motivated you to take some extra steps and to try to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Be well and stay tuned for more tips!
Hutchinson, Alex. Which came first, Cardio or Weights?. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. Book.