Summer is a time when we tend to be more active and to spend more time outdoors. Naturally this is a good thing. But our exercise shouldn't be confined to simply periods of good weather or consigned to a gym. Nor does it mean that to be healthy, we have to lift weights, run for miles or go to other physical extremes. According to a recent study on physical activity conducted by the University of Missouri, just moving regularly throughout the day appears to be the key to good health.
The American Heart Association says we should all strive to take 10,000 steps a day, but many of us get less than half that amount. This is because today so many people are confined to desk jobs. The problem with being so sedentary is that your blood sugar levels spike more after eating than someone who is getting up and moving a lot. And blood sugar spikes are definitely not good for us. Associate Professor John Thyfault of the University of Missouri who led this study on movement and health concludes that, “Spikes and swings in blood sugar after meals have been linked to the development of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.”
There are lots of ways to enjoy the health benefits of movement, even if you are shut inside due to the weather or your desk job. You can start by:
- avoiding the elevator and taking the stairs,
- parking farther away and walking to work or the store,
- wearing a pedometer to see how many steps you are actually taking.
- try sitting on an exercise ball at your desk
- Get up at least once an hour to move around
- Fetch a drink of water,
- make that trip to the bathroom
- walk those files to the person they go to right away
These are all great ways to boost your activity levels. The key is to be up as many times as possible during the day getting those steps in.
Whether at home or in the office, make it a point to go for a walk when the weather is good, even if it's just around the block. If you are stuck inside at home, turn on the radio and dance to a few tunes, or pull out your favorite exercise video and give it a go, even if it's just for a few minutes. If you have stairs at home, make sure to use them frequently. If not, get up frequently and move around your house.
The key is to never sit too long in any one place.
Being healthier is only steps away. Get up and get moving.
You'll feel more energy and be doing good things for your body.