Reducing Inactivity is more critical than being Active
Chronic inactivity is a significant risk in the modern world, as a lot of people have jobs that require them to sit at a desk all day. This only adds to our other inactive hours that we have while sleeping or watching TV.
Reducing chronic inactivity is even more critical than doing short exercise sessions. A 240,000-person study by the National Institutes of Health in the US found that adults who spend the most time seated have a 50 per cent higher mortality rate; even exercising for seven hours a week wasn't enough to reduce this!
Reasons to try and move more are many. Movement and light, not overly exertional movement and exercise help boost immune function, improve metabolic function as well a helping you feel and sleep better.
You may still be working from home. A potential benefit is the opportunity to move more during the day while away from an often more constrained office environment.
Some ways to move more indoors:
- Roll from one side of the bed to the other three times before getting up in the morning (when you have the bed to yourself of course).
- When lying in bed, bend your knees and lift your hips up and down ten times slowly while tensing your buttock muscles and keeping your back relaxed.
- Stand up and sit down again from a lowish seat ten times, do three times a day.
- If you have a flight of stairs, walk up and down five times, do three times a day.
- Do ten press-ups, in standing, against a wall twice a day.
- Reach up above your head with both arms, make yourself long and tall while breathing to the base of the lungs, do for 20 secs, twice a day.
Some ways to move more outdoors:
- Walking for 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes at least each day has huge benefits. Try and get out when it's light and find some green space (within the 2 km of the home if possible).
- Find some steps and walk up and down 10-15 times while out for your walk for added benefit.
- Do the same press up's you can do inside, but outside leaning against a tree (hug the tree afterwards).
- Find a tree, a wall or a pole, hold on for balance then raise your heels up and down twenty times.
- If you like doing Yoga or Tai Chi, take it outside if possible for extra health benefits.
If you are cocooning, the indoor options are best for you at the moment, but try and have the windows open and find places in the house where you can move while in daylight or even better, sunshine for added health benefits.
Take home message; being active is not enough if the rest of the time we are inactive. Keep moving!