We started talking about movement last post. I’d like to continue on that subject because, as mentioned, we have become way too sedentary for our health. Even an hour or two of daily exercise can’t make up for the 8-10+ hours of static sitting that has become way too commonplace for most people!
With movement comes the stimulation of the musculature and various cellular processes throughout the body that keep all our systems functioning at a higher level. We get more fuel to all of our cells, our pancreas does a better job of balancing out blood sugar levels, our brain gets fed the glucose it needs to function properly, our digestive system continues to work and our muscles get the blood they need to both flush out waste products plus bring new oxygen and nutrients to function properly. And, as we talked last time, to assist with keeping full length in the muscles that tend to stay short after prolonged sitting.
The above is to just name a few of the many actions our body does when we keep moving as opposed to too much sitting. Did you know that even getting up and moving your own body weight around for a few minutes will start your system moving again? This is why it is ideal to walk around at breaks, work part of the time at a standing desk, use the steps rather than taking the elevator whenever you can and much more. You get the picture.
Start getting creative as to how you can move around more even if you do have to be at your desk all day. What about standing and doing squats while you are on a conference call? This will get those glutes and quads working to increase metabolism and burn a few extra calories. Need to read that paper? Walk around your desk while you are reading it or do little lunges from side to side. Perhaps do a little Tai Chi movement or two while you are reading something on your computer. Don’t know Tai Chi? Here is a video with some basic moves for you from Jake Mace Note side benefit: This might just calm you down a bit at the same time!
Drink more water! You will get the double benefit of rehydrating your system, which is most likely dehydrated, and it will make you get up and go to the bathroom more. 🙂 For more information on hydration, here is an article I wrote a while back about drinking water.
Of course none of this is meant to take the place of regular vigorous exercise but to help counter the negative effects of sitting too much.
Another benefit is every time you get up and sit back down, you are likely to sit in your chair more upright and out of that slumped position that seems to come so naturally when sitting for long periods of time. You thought I forgot about the posture piece, didn’t you? Nope. Next time we will look at what often happens to the head and neck from sitting too long.
Meanwhile I hope this inspires you to move more and more throughout the day!
To your health,