There are about a million things that we could all do/change about our health everyday. We need to eat more vegetables, eat organic, drink more water, drink less alcohol, etc. It can become an obsession. I work in the health care field and read about everything I can on health and the human body.  There is a lot of contradictory information out there and Americans are busy. We don’t have time to follow it all. So, I’ve done it for you. Here it is, the #1 most important thing you should do for your body: MOVE MORE.

Notice I did not say exercise more. I actually mean move. According to a statistic I just made up, 90% of us have sedentary jobs. We wake up, eat in the car on the way to work, sit for 8 hours at a desk getting up only to pee and eat. Then we go home, sit for dinner, and then sit and watch an hour of television before we sit in front of the computer and go to bed. That is not a lot of moving.

The experts recommend 10,000 steps a day. That is the equivalent of walking 5 miles. When is the last time you came even close to walking that much in a day?

A lot of you are probably thinking right now, “It’s okay that I sit all day because I work out 3x a week.” Well, sorry to say that the research doesn’t back you up there. Granted, working out 3x per week is better than nothing, but it does not make up for all the sitting. Sitting is not just a lack of exercise, it actually is bad for the body. It’s bad for your metabolism, circulation, back, and much more.

Don’t get discouraged. Even if there is nothing you can do about sitting at a desk, there are ways that you can sneak movement into your day.

1. Start by doing a quick pick-me-up in the morning. You don’t need to make it to the gym (although that would be a great way to start your day). Just spend 5 minutes doing squats, push ups, jumping jacks, planks. 5 mins. before your shower- you can do that.

2. Take breaks at work. Don’t get fired, but as often as possible get up and walk around. Use the stairs if you got them. Stretch out your legs, and back. Do jumping jacks in the bathroom if you have to. Most employers would be okay with 2- 10 min. breaks in your day.

3. Take full advantage of the lunch break. How long does it really take to eat lunch? Get out of the habit of trying to drive to get lunch- it takes too much time out of your break. Bring your lunch to work (it’s probably healthier too) and then go for a walk with that left over time. Do as brisk of a walk as you can without ruining your clothes with sweat.

4. Don’t sit all night. This is a big one. After dinner try to get some exercise in. If you have kids you may have to get creative. Take a family walk, have a make-shift dance party, play tag outside, whatever it takes. Your kids don’t want to sit all night either. If you don’t have kids, you have a lot more options. Do a work out video, go to the gym, go for a run, do 30 min. of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

These are NOT a replacement for exercise. These are things you should add along with exercise. And when I say exercise, I don’t mean wandering aimlessly around a gym for an hour. What a giant waste of time! I know two trainers that could go on for 10 years about how much time the average person wastes at the gym (www.lisagandor.com ; www.lakecountybootcamps.com ). My friend Lisa always says, “spending 30 min. on the elliptical while reading a magazine does not count as exercise.” Rule of thumb- If you can read a magazine while doing it, you aren’t pushing yourself enough.

That’s easy enough right? I am not telling you to change everything you do for health. Just one simple concept- move more.

 

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