Sounds easy right? Just get up and move!
Then why don’t we do it more often?
There are a million and one excuses and reasons not to, right?
Instead, let’s look at why we should…move that is. It helps to know the benefits of our actions and knowing how and why movement is important and beneficial is not only empowering, but also good for our bodies and minds.
Moving and being active daily is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health and wellness. Believe it or not, your body is not designed to sit all day! For someone who is sedentary – the benefits of exercise (even just a little bit of movement), are truly remarkable and will make significant positive effects right away.
In 2018 the 2nd edition of Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans stated that we need 150 minutes each week of physical activity. This is also recommended and agreed upon by the Mayo Clinic and the C.D.C. as well as Personal Training recommendations and protocol for trainers and fitness professionals. While this might sound like a lot; it can be spread out throughout the week, and you can even split the time into smaller chunks and throughout the day and/or week. One thing that everyone can agree on is that “some activity is better than none.” This means that if you are overwhelmed by the number: 150 minutes/week – don’t fret! Just get up and moveJ! Because every little bit counts.
Why is exercise good for you?
Exercise has been found to boost your mood, immunity, help you control weight, give you more energy, help with memory and cognition, and improve your sleep patterns. Exercise is also beneficial and can help reduce the negative effects of some health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s.
One thing to remember when you begin an exercise regimen is that when you start any exercise program, you might not lose weight – part of the reason for this is a little-known fact that the same amount of muscle mass weighs more than the same amount of fatty tissue mass. If weight loss is your main goal; stay away from the scale and go by how your clothes fit instead. As you keep up with your exercise and movement goals; you will notice weight loss after a bit of time has passed since the main benefits of exercise (energy, mood elevation, better sleep, etc.) can’t be measured on a scale. Another benefit of more muscle mass is that muscle is a better burner of fat – the more you have, the more fat you can burn even when you aren’t moving.
How to Start a Movement Regimen
Start by moving. Seems obvious – yet, it’s not! Here’s a few tips to begin slowly:
- Get up from your seat – set a timer or use your devices such as the Apple Watch, the Oura ring, or even your phone – and get up every hour.
- Walk or bike to work (or to lunch or a coffee).
- Set up a standing desk so you can stand part of the day.
- Sit on a stability ball.
- Park as far as you can in any parking lot and walk to the entrance.
- Take a walk for a break instead of getting a coffee.
- Do a short 3-7 minute workout (there are apps for this!)
- Stand up – and sit back down again – and do it again and again throughout the day.
- Get a gym membership.
- Hire a personal trainer or Pilates or Yoga coach/instructor.
- Take a virtual class.
From small changes to large ones – consistency is the key and will help you be successful. There’s no need to do everything at once or try to get in 150 minutes on your first week. Instead, try one small change; set a timer for 2-4 times during your day and when it goes off – get up, walk somewhere (anywhere) and then do it again and again, day after day, until you have a routine. That routine might even turn into a bigger goal; such as running a 10K, taking a fitness class, hiring a personal trainer, playing a sport – the sky’s the limit!
Some negatives for you to remember if you decide you don’t want to move:
- Sedentary people have the highest rate of heart attack
- An hour of walking cuts your risk of obesity by 24%
- Less active and less fit people have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure & heart disease
Research and studies done by Time Magazine (2016 - 2019) still found that “only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 minutes of strength and cardiovascular physical activity per week, more than half of all baby boomers report doing NO exercise whatsoever, and 80.2 million Americans over age 6 are entirely inactive.” These are depression statistics and can easily be changed by just moving, a little bit each and every day.
Small changes can lead to BIG benefits!
Now, get up and move!!
For every excuse not to work out – there are 10 more to work out! Start with a small goal and work up to a bigger one. One step at a time, one stand at a time, you CAN make a difference for your health and well-being.
Rejuv at Work offers several options for Mind-Body classes and/or workshops such as: Meditation, Stretch at Your Desk, Deskercise, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. These are all ways to help reduce and manage stress and anxiety; as well as promote a healthier and happier outlook and work environment.