22 Dec Simple Workouts to Combat Sedentary Lifestyle
Winter is setting in and our bodies are producing increased amounts of melatonin–a naturally occurring brain substance that is making us feel tired and our bodies sluggish.
We listed some harmful and damaging effects of living a sedentary lifestyle in one of our previous articles to get you ready for the change that you are going to bring in your lifestyle. Instead of asking you to simply wake up tomorrow and start doing a cardio routine, we will prepare you for the change pragmatically.
Let’s start by considering how much you sit in a day–including the hours sitting in a car, on an office chair for straight 8 hours, sitting in an armchair reading or knitting, eating lunch or dinner, and on a couch to de-stress after a long day of work. If it adds up to more than six hours of continuous sitting, then we have two things to tell you: (i) You are living a sedentary lifestyle even if you workout every day, (ii) We have very simple and easy ways to help you combat that lifestyle.
To give you a little idea of how much you should be sitting, we found this recent statement released in the British Journal of Sports Medicine: Americans should begin to stand, move and take breaks for at least two out of eight hours at work. Then, Americans should gradually work up to spend at least half of your eight-hour work day in what researchers call these “light-intensity activities.”
If you are experiencing knee pain, we understand that it can be difficult to add a regular exercise program to your daily routine. But trust us, doing simple stretches and working out after a period of rest is actually good for your ailing knees. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments holding the joints in place are becoming weak and hypermobile without exercise, which can result in more joint pain.
Here are some simple workouts–think of it as baby steps–to incorporate exercise into your life:
- “Park further away” mantra
Parking further away not only means parking your car far away from the office door but also things such as bin, fax machine, copier, lunch, water away from your desk to make you get up and walk at least once every hour. You are can also incorporate some or all of the 50 tips the University of Berkeley has listed to move more at work, which can also be performed at home.
- Switch to stretching, turning, or bending mode
After every 8-10 minutes of sitting, we recommending doing simple stretches, turning, and bending. Stretch to touch your toes while sitting on the chair or turn sideways on your chair to perform Russian twists or bend on the sides to target your obliques for 5-10 seconds. Doing these simple moves every day will save your joints from becoming tight and sore and help you combat sedentary lifestyle.
- Make entertainment “active”
Instead of looking at your phone or switching channels during the ad break, walk around the house or stretch like a cat: get on all fours, align your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips, inhale and arch your back slightly, exhale and pull your belly button in toward your spine and squeeze your low butt, repeat 4-5 times. If you feel too tired to get down on the floor, some couch workouts, such as leg raises, couch dips, and knee taps work really well to improve blood circulation. Pick your favorite exercise and do it regularly to combat sedentary lifestyle.