Let’s be honest: Being lazy becomes the norm if you have a job that requires you to sit for most of your day. Moving more might not be your first choice because you are so used to just sitting down.
When you get off, the only thing you really want to do is either lay down or sit even more on your sofa to wind down and catch up on the latest shows. It sounds crazy but sitting down all day makes you want to sit down even more!
Little to no movement each day can make you tired, sluggish, and put you in a bad mood. You can get irritable because you’re tired, but you don’t feel like doing anything to get your blood flowing.
JAMA Internal Medicine’s recent studies suggest that the number of deaths can be prevented if one would just do a small amount of physical activity. These studies are based on NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), which included 4840 participants over the course of 3 years. The results came to adding just 10 minutes per day of physical activity preventing an estimated of 111,174 deaths per year. 20 minutes to 207,459 and 30 minutes to 272,297.
On top of living a longer life, the CDC provides tons of other benefits that come with a little bit of movement each day:
1. Better Mood
Moving your body can reduce your feelings of irritability and anxiety because it helps you to release endorphins. These are chemicals that give you a happy and positive feeling. Being cooped up at work for 8 hours can put you in a bit of a funk. I am sure you’re thinking of being off at least once or twice throughout the workday.
2. Heart Disease and Stroke
Regular physical activity can help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In most instances, contributing factors are lack of exercise and being overweight. So get moving! No matter how small, moving your body gets you one step closer to better health.
3. Brain Function Improvement
Problem-solving, learning more, and just thinking can all be improved with physical activity. For older people, it can reduce the risk of mental impairment such as dementia. Your brain and body work together so when you take care of your body, the mind will follow.
The number goes on and on for the amount of people that have diabetes. It doesn’t matter if you are young, old, male, or female, this disease affects everyone. Moving your body helps to control your blood sugar levels, and possibly prevent type 2 if you have type 1 already.
Energy levels go up when you get moving and going. Do you wonder why you are tired at work and still tired when you get off? This is even when you get to bed early to get some good quality rest. Moving more will get that oxygen circulating throughout your body, giving you a boost!
Let’s Get Moving!
Now that you know what the benefits are, you can start small to implement more movement into your life. Even if your days are pretty busy, a little bit at a time can go a long way.
Take a 5-Minute walk during your breaks. Yes, I know that they come and go faster than the blink of an eye. But stepping away from your desk area and walking around gives your eyes a break from the screen. It also helps you to move your legs a bit from sitting for hours.
Get up and stretch. It helps to improve posture, which can be affected by sitting down all day. Muscles become tight or stiff, and stretching can help to relieve this. You can also get an energy boost if you get up and stretch when you are feeling tired.
Park further away from the entrance so that you can walk. Preferably 10 minutes if you can. This gives you a little push to walk a little even if you don’t do much during the day. At least you know that you walked 20 minutes throughout your day, which counts for something.
Instead of going straight in the house when you get off, take at least 10 mins to walk around the block. Use that time to unwind from your day at work and prepare yourself for home duties. Release all of those work thoughts and leave them at your front door. Bringing work home can interfere with your home life, and I am sure that your family won’t like that at all.
When watching your favorite show, get up and walk around the house until your show comes back on. You don’t have to put much effort into it at all, as you are in the comfort of your home. It gets better, you can even have your sleeping clothes on! No one really likes watching commercials anyways, so use this time to take a break from sitting.
Start today by moving your body a little bit at a time. Every bit counts!