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5 Easy Ways to Get More Exercise

As they say, sitting is the new smoking. Society is significantly more sedentary that just 20 years ago. So many of us spend our work day in front of a computer or driving a vehicle. Even those of us with more active employment often spend the majority of our downtime in front of the television or on our phones.

Why Is Sitting The New Smoking?

A sedentary lifestyle (spending over 6 hours of our day sitting or lying down) is as detrimental to our health as smoking. It affects our weight and cardiovascular health, can play a role in diabetes, and can even contribute to the development of certain cancers.

You can learn more HERE.

Other Effects Of Too Much Sitting

In addition to its effects on cardiovascular health (weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol), and contribution to diabetes and cancers, there are more benign side effects of sitting that have negative effects on our lives.

  • decreased attention span

  • fatigue

  • lack of strength

  • mental fog

  • inflammation

  • poor circulation

  • decreased immunity

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns during the day just doing the basics like staying at 98.6F, digesting food, etc. Moving around a lot during the day (standing, walking, bending) raises this number a fairly significant amount. If you want to lose a few pounds or simply maintain your weight and health, having consistent movement throughout the day will have a bigger impact on overall calorie burn than 2-3 trips to the gym.

What About The Gym?

I would never tell someone not to go to the gym. However, if you spend the majority of your day sitting, spending 30 minutes in the gym a few times a week is not going to fully counteract that. If you enjoy the gym, by all means, go. It's good for you!!!

However, for most people, what is even better than a session at the gym is incorporating more movement throughout the day to break up long stretches of sedentary behavior. You don't just want 1 intense session of movement in the day, you want to increase your movement throughout the day.

Habit Change

If you want to learn more about successful habit change, you can check out THIS video, or THIS one.

Watch Me

Rule #1 For Habit Change

Keep It Simple - Don't overcomplicate things. Make a series of small changes one after another. You will be much more successful than trying to do it all simultaneously!

5 Easy Tips to Get More Exercise

  1. Start your day with a little movement. You don't need to wake up and workout for 30 minutes, but consider doing a few squats and a couple of stretches can help wake up your body and transition from lying down for the last 8 hours and preparing for a day peppered with movement. If yoga is your jam, start the day with a few Sun Salutations (5 minutes is all you need to do 4) or a short Yoga Flow.

  2. Fine excuses to get up and walk, even set a timer if that helps.

  3. Find an excuse to climb stairs. This could be simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. If you don't need to go to the 2nd floor, just walk up and back down for no reason and then go about your business as usual.

  4. Keep a set of dumbbells next to the couch or next to your desk. Get up and do a few squats while holding them, then a few bicep curls, then go back to what you were doing.

  5. If you're watching TV in the evening, get down on the floor for some stretches and ab crunches.

Bonus Ideas

I couldn't leave you with just five ideas because adding more movement to your day is too important!

A. Track your steps and compete against yourself.

B. Break up housework and yardwork so that you do a little bit every day.

C. Leave the car behind and walk (if the distance isn't too far).

D. Meetup with a friend for a daily or weekly walk around town.

E. When entering a store, take 5 minutes to simply walk the perimeter before you grab a cart to shop.

F. Ditch the chair - when working at a computer, either stand or sit on an exercise ball.

G. Need more ideas? You can find more HERE.

In Conclusion

Making small, incremental, healthy choices will add up to big changes to your health. Baby steps give us an easy success, inspiring us to make healthier choices in the future.

You only have one body - move it!

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