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The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The average American office worker now spends 10 hours per day sat in a chair. If you think about it, this statistic isn’t so surprising – whether we’re writing reports, checking e-mails, making phone calls, surfing the internet, or watching TV, most of us remain seated throughout the day.

But staying seated for long periods is linked with an increased risk of fat accumulation and weight gain. You might think that this is just because sitting doesn’t burn many calories, but there is another mechanism at work.

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When you stay sitting down for long periods of time, you put your body’s cells under physical pressure. This encourages lipid droplets to form inside your fat cells, and it causes the resulting fat tissue to enlarge and spread. This “cellular expansion” can mean that your fat cells grow by up to 50%.

Specifically, sitting down for hours at a time promotes fat storage in the buttocks. Worse, once your fat cells begin to grow, they also stiffen – this makes the tissue harder to shift through diet and exercise.[1]

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How to Stop the Fat Cells from Expanding

Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk of rapid fat accumulation. To put it simply, you have to move! Medical researchers published an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine advising that American workers should make sure that they are standing up and moving for at least 2 hours over the course of the average working day.[2]

So how should you start? You don’t have to leave the office and go for a long walk – small and simple movements, repeated frequently over the course of the day, are actually the most effective.

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Start to Fidget

A UK-based study that looked at the fidgeting habits and health of over 12,000 women found a clear link between fidgeting and mortality. Basically, the more you fidget, the lower your mortality risk![3] Just taking a few moments to move around in your seat, shift your posture, standing up, and taking a short walk can drastically reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting.

If you are worried that making time for quick breaks will harm your productivity, relax! There is no evidence that this is the case. In fact, research has demonstrated that taking a short breaks boost productivity and creativity.[4] So don’t be afraid to prioritize your physical health by breaking up your workday.

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Cement the Changes

Make it a rule that you will make a conscious effort to move around every 20 minutes whilst at work. You can set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up and stretch, to change your posture, or go for a quick walk if possible. The more you move, the better! If you work in close proximity to other people, you could all decide to hold each other accountable!

Remember, you can’t afford to remain too stationary. It may sound dramatic, but our sitting habits are posing a real risk to our health. Making the effort to move around on a regular basis will help keep your weight in check. Once you have formed new habits, they will stick with you for years to come.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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