“Movement is Medicine”
We’re all familiar with the expression, but how many of us have truly taken it to heart? While advances in technology have no doubt benefited humanity in countless ways, there are some negative consequences that have accompanied the positive ones. One glaring example: we’ve stopped moving.
Humans have evolved to live sedentary lives in today’s world and the ramifications are dire. In fact, a 2017 study found that sitting for long periods is actually a risk factor for early death. Sadly for many of us, our daily activities completely revolve around sitting. We drive to and from work, we sit at our desks for 8 long hours, and in the evenings we unwind on the couch, captivated by the latest Netflix original.
Many mistakenly believe that simply incorporating structured workouts into their weekly routines will make up for a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately this alone cannot completely reverse the negative effects of constant sitting. An inactive lifestyle is linked to a wide range of health problems including weight gain, back pain, heart disease, diabetes, depression and more. Those who move throughout their day are not only physically healthier, but they also report feeling happier, having higher levels of energy and an improved ability to focus.
Ready to start moving? We’ve put together seven easy tips for incorporating movement into your daily routine!
Park Further From the Door
This might sound too easy, but simply parking at the back of the lot each time you drive to a new location can significantly increase the number of steps you take throughout your day. Some parking lots can be 500 steps or more in length!
Stand and Stretch Every 20 Minutes
During your workday, set a reminder to stand up and stretch every 20 minutes. From a standing position you can easily stretch many large muscle groups such as the quads, hamstrings, chest and back.
Bathroom Break Mini Circuits
All of us have to take breaks throughout the day to use the restroom, so make the best of it. Every time you go to the restroom complete a set of 10 squats, 10 wall pushups and 10 leg raises. Or, get creative and make up a circuit that works for you!
Swap Your Chair for a Stability Ball
Sitting on a stability ball forces you to engage your core which results in better posture and burns more calories. However, this simple change does take some getting used to so we recommend starting with an hour at a time to build up strength and endurance.
Schedule a Fitness Class with a Coworker
Working out with a peer is always more fun! When you’re making your plans to attend a fitness class, take a second to invite a coworker to join you. Not only will you be building relationships, but you’ll probably be motivated to push yourself a little harder too ;)
Wall Sits for :30
No matter where you are, chances are that you can probably find a wall nearby and carve out 30 seconds of your time. This quick and simple exercise improves muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. Plus, many say it can also sharpen your focus and help relieve stress.
Walk and Talk Phone Calls
The next time you find yourself on a phone call, stand up and take that call for a walk! On average, moving at a moderate pace for only five minutes adds 600 steps to your day. Not only will you be burning more calories, but walking has also been found to improve your creativity.
Incorporating these tips into your daily routine might be difficult to get used to at first, so start small and be sure to celebrate your successes along the way. Over time, these simple changes will become habits that will ultimately improve your overall health!
Looking for a better wellness benefit that inspires the medicine of movement? Share this article with your HR director and have them fill out the form below to get started with Peerfit.