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If You Exercise but Sit a Lot, You’re Still Unhealthy

If You Exercise but Sit a Lot, You’re Still Unhealthy

A typical day used to be spent doing physical labor, but that is no longer the case. The inactivity most of us experience as part of our daily career routine can increase our risk of dying. You may make time to go to the gym an hour or two a week, but if 40 other hours are spent sitting at a desk or sitting during your lunch break, you aren’t actually compensating for it while you’re at the gym.[1]

While many of us mean well and fully intend to walk more on our lunch breaks or go to the gym more frequently, we are often so mentally tired after a long day at work that we wind up laying on the couch at home watching tv instead.

Humans have grown to be less active

In the 1960’s, approximately 50% of US jobs required heavy to moderate physical activity. This was a time when factory jobs were still common place and employees were on their feet all day whether doing heavy lifting or not.[2] Now, however, that percentage is a measly 20%, meaning a whopping 80% of American jobs are almost wholly sedentary or demand very little physical exertion. The unfortunate truth is that most of us spend our workdays glued to our chairs staring at a computer. Sitting, is now an epidemic.

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    Think back to your childhood. You used to run around playing outdoors. At school you had P.E. classes and may have even been encouraged by your friends to take up a sport. Unfortunately, as you grew up, your opportunities to participate in physical activity became less available. While working for an income is a huge priority, should it really come before our health? Unfortunately, it seems most of us have said yes and thus, have stopped moving very often.

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      Even though you may do exercises once in a while, exercise alone isn’t enough to make you more active in general. In one study, two groups were analyzed. One group was very active, exercising more than 7 hours a week. The other group spent more of their time sitting down. The less physical group had a 50% greater risk of death. As if this isn’t a scary enough result, the same group also doubled their odds of dying from heart disease.

      Get up and get moving

      The goal is simple: move more, sit less. Look for small ways to incorporate more activity into each and every day. Maybe tomorrow you could share this article with a coworker and make it a goal to walk every day on your lunch break together. Try to fit in two miles a day. And if you have stairs in your office, try to take those rather than opting for the elevator.

      This video also has some great recommendations you can try!

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      For even more inspiration, check out this article for exercises you can do while you’re at work: 29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk

      Stand up now!

      Don’t get so carried away with big goals that you disappoint yourself right away; try to start small. When you find substitutions in your daily life (such as taking the stairs at work or even standing and pacing while you talk on the phone), you can quickly start some new habits you’ll be able to keep in the long run.

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      While sometimes it can be so tempting to get home from a long day at work and lay around and binge watch your favorite series, you’ll be happier, and much healthier, if you can make it a point to be active. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll also feel better about your relationship with your pup — take them for a walk! Your healthy heart, and your furry friend, will thank you. If you don’t have a pet, link up with a neighbor who would help you stay motivated and accountable.

      Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

      Reference

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      Jolie Choi

      Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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      Last Updated on January 25, 2021

      What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

      What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

      It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

      If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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      What should I do today? No ideas?

      Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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      Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

      1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
      2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
      3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
      4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
      5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
      6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
      7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
      8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
      9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
      10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
      11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
      12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
      13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
      14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
      15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
      16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
      17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
      18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
      19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
      20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
      21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
      22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
      23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
      24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
      25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
      26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
      27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
      28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
      29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
      30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

      Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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