My goal is to help people move more. Sustainably. So that we will all be more fit, and ultimately more healthy. Or, perhaps more accurately, as healthy as we can be.
Let’s face it: with a few exceptions, we are all far too sedentary. We have used our tremendous brainpower over the centuries to devise ways to save ourselves much in terms of efforts and physical labour.
So it is only natural that I propose some ways of moving more. “About time this blog starts being useful”, you might even think!
If you are hoping for a silver bullet, a no-effort required method that has guaranteed success, you will be disappointed.
If you are hoping for a simple way to make a big difference, well, then, there is hope. But it requires some effort nevertheless.
I’d like to propose a first tookit, a prescription of sort, to get moving more:
1) Move every hour.
Whether at work or at home, we tend to sit way more than is healthy. What you should do is 10 minutes of moving for every 50 of sitting. At least 5 minutes, if you think 10 is too much. The moving part does not need to be very dynamic. Go for a walk on your floor, or around the block. Do some squats and some push-ups. Or take the stairwell and go up one floor, then back down. The key is to not spend hours on end without moving. Getting that blood to flow a little faster will help your overall productivity. Also, the mental break of switching away from what you are doing does wonder for idea generation and clarification…
2) Take the stairs.
I warned you (if you read my previous post), but this theme will keep coming back. Stairs are great. Stairs are your friends. Really. Whenever there are escalators, don’t take them. Whenever you “must” take an elevator, get off a floor or two higher or lower than where you are going, and walk some stairs. There’s a big opportunity for daily, quality moving, in just making that slight tweak to your habits. It really doesn’t take that much longer, and the payoff is substantial.
3) Walk more.
Whether you commute by car or public transit, a long distance or a short one, a change to your habits to include more walking will make a huge difference. Get off a stop (or more) sooner than you usually do and walk the rest of the way. Park your car at a farther (and perhaps less expensive) parkade and walk from there. If you normally drive but could take public transit, consider switching to the already more physically demanding method. The key thing is to include some systematic walking in your normal habits on a daily basis.
4) Do something with your muscles every day.
This is more tricky because it conjures up images of body building and going to the gym. But, in fact, although it is the more difficult part to add to your daily routine, it has great potential and does not require that much of an effort. I’m a big fan of the “7-Minute Workout” which aims to get your most important muscle groups to work a little more than most of us are unfortunately used to in our sedentary lifestyle. Restoring muscle tone means increasing your base metabolism, and immediately helping with your overall ability to deal with daily demands put on your body by the rest of your activities.
That’s it. For now.
I’ll get back to this topic frequently, offering more advice and tricks, and explaining the numerous benefits. But there you have it. Already enough to make a big difference…