Ever get the 3:00 feeling and reach for a sweet snack or caffeine? What if you opted for ten burpees or went of a brisk walk around the block? I call these short bursts of movement “exercise snacks”. Nine to fivers spend most of their work day sitting. With standing and treadmill desks trending we have more people aware of strain our body is under when constantly seated. These alternative methods of desk work are a step in the right direction, but standing for an extended period is still hard on the body. Just ask your hairdresser.
Our bodies were not designed to be sedentary. Spending your day at a desk or in a car often results in weak glutes, tight hips, a lacking core and a strained neck. As the core weakens the lower back may become chronically sore or achy. Lack of movement causes spine inflexibility. The less you move the less pliable your spine becomes. The collagen between your disks hardens and boom, your disks are being crushed. L4 & L5 anyone?
So what do I propose for more energy and a more balanced body? It may not be what you are expecting.
Most Americans workout for 30-60 minutes a day (if you are lucky) and spend the other 23 hours sedentary. I realize this is not everyone, but it does seem to be the case for most. What if you assigned five minutes of every hour to movement? This would have you moving for over an hour each day without including your daily exercise routine. Is it doable? Yes!
Here are some ideas:
On a work call: Pace the office, house or do body weight squats/lunges in your cube
Waiting in the checkout line: Hold tree pose and challenge your balance
Take the stairs in the metro, mall, airport etc
Run up stairs, even in your house.
Treat your dog to an extra long walk
Play with your kids in the yard
Join or create an adult sports team (kickball, ultimate frisbee, softball, etc)
Walk on the treadmill as you catch up with Netflix rather than relaxing in bed
Do pushups every hour, yes you can start on your knees
Start your day with a gentle yoga flow
Leisurely ride your bike
Purchase a fitness tracker for motivation (FitBit, Jawbone, Apple Watch)
Walk or ride your bike to the the grocery store. Just carrying back your groceries will get your heart pumping. Added bonus: You will get the bare minimum and probably save on your grocery and gasoline bills.
The possibilities are endless. This can be a tiny habit or new ritual that could eventually turn into a major lifestyle change. So why wait, start today! Stop and give me 10 walking pushups!
Are you inspired?