Alright – your goal may not be based on physical needs either.
Yet, ‘in order to be your highest self’ (yes, I said this yesterday – but, it bear repeating) – you need to look at where you are as it relates to your health and to your physical movement. I will NOT be telling you to run or push to your max every day (actually, I think that can be detrimental to your body) – but, when you look at the wonderful physiology we are given – I guarantee that we were not made to sit on our backsides and glare at computer screens, the TV, or type all day! We have 639 muscles and 206 bones – they were put there to move!!
Yet, most of us are tethered to a job where we are in meetings all day (‘didn’t they discuss that issue at the last meeting? Has nothing changed? Why do we enjoy marveling at the same problem; yet no one offers a solution?’).
Or, we are stuck in cubicles or offices that become corporate prisons for 8 hours (if we are lucky) – or more. This causes our bodies and minds to become sluggish.
We have forgotten that, in order to be productive, we need to move; we need light (not from incandescent bulbs); and we need to be in nature – yes, we do.
I think everyone knows the benefits of physical movement. But, how many of us have time?
You’ve heard it all before – eat right and exercise. Eating right was yesterday’s topic – but, what about exercise and who has the time?
“I have kids (and spouse) to get going; breakfast to serve; lunches to pack; dogs to feed; time to shower and get ready and get to work!”
“I get home and there is dinner to get ready; homework to help with; dogs to feed; dishes to do; and, oh – that special school ‘project’ that is due tomorrow (or bake sale) – which NO ONE told me about. At that point, I veg in front of the TV for an hour or two; crawl into bed and try to get some sleep – but, my mind is racing. So, the idea of heading to the gym at 5 AM to watch some guy (or girl) marvel at their muscles in the mirror is not at all intriguing.”
Sound familiar? It’s not that we are lazy – it’s that we don’t have bandwidth (mentally or timewise). And, we are just tired and worn out from what life throws our way.
Let’s step back a bit and really figure out the best way to get activity in your life and recharge those batteries…
- Public health experts suggest that adults get a ‘weekly minimum’ or 2.5 hours of moderate activity (like brisk walking and gardening) or 1.25 hours of vigorous activity (aerobics and so on). But, will that overcome the time we spent hunched over, peering up at our computer screens, sitting on our derrieres and really – not moving – for 50 – 60 hours a week?
The answer is ‘no’. As I said before, the human body is made to move. We have these beautiful weight bearing bones and muscles that need to be worked. But, if time is a problem (and, when isn’t it) – what can we do to incorporate movement throughout the day? Here are some ideas.
- Stand when you are on the telephone. Who says that you have to be chair bound? Walk around, do calf raises, glute contractions, stretches. Anything – just keep moving.
- When you want to talk to a colleague – suggest a walk. First, it gets them away from looking at their computer (and not paying attention to what you are saying). Second, it gets them away from their desk – they may be grateful!
- If you are stuck in a meeting – get up; walk around the room. Others may follow suit. Why do we think that you are only involved in the discussion when your ‘bottom’ is in the chair. If you feel that this would be an uncomfortable situation – talk to your supervisor and mention that you are trying to incorporate more movement in your day. After all, studies show that it makes people more productive. How can anyone say ‘no’ to that?
- If you are sitting and listening to a conference call – use your armrests and do chair dips (better if you can secure your chair from rolling – trust me, I know). This is a great triceps move.
- If you can’t secure your chair, keep your hands on your desk and swivel you chair back and forth – this works the obliques. Then, follow by moving your chair in and out from your desk – works the biceps and triceps.
- Another idea for those interminable conference calls – do chair crunches: Sit up straight in your chair and contract your abs.
- What I try to do is get up for 5 to 10 minutes after every hour that I am sitting. At that point – I use the restroom, get some water, I walk around the floor (or outside). Oftentimes, I do some squats or calf lifts just to get the legs moving (go barefoot if you need to).
Consider this: If you take 5 to 10 minutes every hour at work – you will have 40 to 80 minutes of movement each and every day and, your body will thank you for it. That translates to 3.3 to 6.6 hours a week! And, you didn’t need to break a sweat!
I also like to listen to do an early morning walk and listen to enlightening and informative podcasts – it really jump starts my day.
Question 1: What can you do to incorporate movement in your day? For women – are you stuck in very beautiful, professional high heels that keep you desk bound? Can you bring in lower heels (or tennis shoes) so that you can walk a bit every hour?
Question 2: What exercises do you enjoy? How can you incorporate this in your life? So you enjoy walking the dog / gardening / yoga? How can I make this fun???
Question 3: If you are a veteran exerciser – what can you do to make it more strenuous – but, also fun? Any class you want to take? Any video series that you would like to get? (www.beachbody.com offers some great ones for beginner / intermediate and advanced exercises).
Now – based off of what you wrote. Do you have a compelling argument to keep exercising on a consistent basis? I assume that you do – just for the energy component.