How long have you been sat down for? Well from the moment your bottom met with that seat, your calorie burning has dropped to about 1 per minute. Ouch.
If you like the sound of increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess cushioning around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels and lower back pain… then stay put.
But if, like most, you appreciate that your health is something you cannot put a price on, then perhaps it’s time to consider your options. Hold your horses – it’s not like you have to quit the day job altogether to become a full time dog walker because I have a few helpful tips to help you KEEP your health… as well as your career.
1. Try some Desk Yoga
Check out my YouTube videos and start practicing some Desk Yoga to keep the blood moving freely and with ease around the body. A still body becomes stagnant like an old pond…. a body that moves is more like a river – energetic and appealing. You could even set an alarm on your phone at one or two times during your working day to take 5 minutes out for your “Desk Yoga” practice AND don’t be shy, if it’s something that isn’t really done where you work, ultimately you shouldn’t care. Your health is what makes you wealthy and that’s not because it’s priceless, that’s because studies show that if you sit for more than 4 hours a day in front of a TV or computer your risk of cardiovascular related problems goes up by 125%!
2. Switch it up
How about every time you are on the phone, you stand up? Yep, simple as that. The muscle activity needed for this will encourage the breakdown of fats and sugars within your body, whereas when you sit, these processes slow to a near halt.
3. Take a break and enjoy the outdoors
Can you walk or cycle during your break? The fresh air and sunlight (even if it is through the clouds) will do wonders for your skin and energy levels. Even if it’s just once a week, it will boost your metabolism all day so you will be more productive. And a productive person is a happy person.
4. To Gym or not to Gym, that is the question
It is important to NOT put too much pressure on yourself to get to the gym for a hardcore workout. This may sound controversial, but I mention this for a few good reasons. Number one; sitting down ALREADY increases your blood pressure, so anything that is going to make you feel more stressed (eg forcing yourself to get up at 5am or not get home until 10pm because of trying to fit the gym in) will only add to the increasing blood pressure. Of course if you are of the mindset, which many people are, that the gym is your downtime, then by all means get to it! Number two is that according to a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, the amount of exercise undertaken has no effect on reversing the risks associated with sitting for long periods of time.
The only way to reverse the damage is to not sit for such long intervals! It could be worth considering an investment in stand-up desks or enroll in a Yoga class in the evenings (If you’re based in the Windsor area, come and take a class with me.)
Have you ever tried meditating? Breathing exercises and meditation play a fundamental part in a continued Yoga practice and are wonderful tools to keep calm, alert and healthy. There are plenty of meditation apps available now so it could be worth checking one out!
It’s all too easy to put your health at the bottom, or even skip it off the list all together. Don’t be that person. Don’t be another sad statistic of the world’s declining health. It’s time to literally TAKE A STAND….
I hope you’ve found my words and videos helpful. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page “My Happy Body” for more updates and tips on Yoga and healthy living