Being sedentary isn't good for you. We have ideas to help!
Living Well...together, while apart
Typically, we like to frame things in the positive: Why being active is good for you. So, while discussing why being sedentary can be harmful and dangerous might seem like a negative frame – it can be powerful and motivating to understand the negative health consequences of behaviour.
Wonderful readers – being members of our amazing health clubs – you likely already know that having a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous: It doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity; increases the risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis; and can increase anxiety and depression in adults and children alike.
Here is our call to action: continue to make ourselves and our physical fitness and health a priority; set a powerful example for those we care about; inspire everyone around us to do the same. Never feel guilty about making time for your exercise. It’s vital on so many levels.
That said, we openly acknowledge there are days and times in life when it is tougher to fit in those workouts. The second part of this article explores how powerful small, short bouts of exercise are. How beneficial those are and how we can easily fit those into a jam-packed day.
Let’s quickly review the science on what happens when we sit for too long.
This isn’t about shaming or judging anyone. This is about educating ourselves about the impact of certain behaviours and encouraging and empowering us to make some shifts.
Humans are built to stand and walk. Even if we exercise daily, here are some of the things that can happen when we sit for hours at a time:
- Our legs and especially our bums become weaker. We become tired when we climb the stairs, are more susceptible to falling and therefore getting injured.
- Our posture suffers. Our hip flexors shorten, the front of our shoulders become tight and the discs in our back compress. This can create excessive curvature and premature degeneration of our spines. It also can contribute to low back and neck pain, and faulty mechanics throughout the body – so our knee, hip, and ankle joints suffer.
- Metabolism will slow and we will tend to store fats and sugars in our bodies.
- Anxiety and depression tend to rise.
- The risk of certain cancers, heart attack, and stroke may become more pronounced.
- You may suffer increased insulin resistance meaning your blood sugars rise above what it healthy. Over time this can increase your risk of developing diabetes.
- Blood tends to pool in your legs which can lead to varicose or spider veins. These may not seem serious, but they can start to really ache. Making it tougher to be on your feet and keep that level of activity up over the long haul!
- Your brain doesn’t function nearly as well. Sitting for hours on end can decrease ability to concentrate, remember, and problem solve. So, if the reason you’re sitting for hours on end is to get your work done…?! You’ll be far more productive, creative, and efficient if you take periodic breaks and move around!
I’m going to stand up and do a set of 15 squats and then walk up and down the stairs. Be right back…
Okay. I think we get the picture. Here are the easy things we can do to fight back against all those negative physiological and neurological reactions:
- Pace when you’re on the phone.
- Book walking meetings.
- Take the stairs.
- Set an alarm for every 30-40 minutes to remind you to stand and move. It only needs to be 60-90 seconds.
- Spread your strength training throughout the day. Determine you’re going to do 30 squats, 30 banded rows, 30 lunges, 30 pushups, and 30 side planks. Break those into short, manageable sets throughout the day, and check them off as you go.
- Park further away from your office.
- Adjust your work environment so you can stand periodically at your desk.
- Get off the bus one stop early.
- Wear running shoes to and from work.
- Listen to recorded versions of your books and walk, garden, or clean while you’re “reading”.
- Stretch while you’re watching tv.
Please remember this: Feeling guilty about a behaviour is the opposite of helpful. It fosters a why bother mentality that typically does not encourage change. And so, no shaming please: Not for yourself. Not for those you care about. Instead, the emphasis can be on setting one or two small achievable goals to break up the day. Find manageable, easy opportunities for a little more movement. And celebrate those. Often, we start to enjoy the body breaks and notice how much better we feel and even work when we make this sort of thing a priority. That’s what this is all about.
"The habit of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a nutritious diet ideally begins in childhood and we hope that parents and schools everywhere will use this day to spread this message". - Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO’s Director-General
Today’s Live Workout
Happy Monday! Spend your holiday Monday with us! We’ve got ONE live class on the schedule for today!
TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING WITH ROBERT S
Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.
No equipment needed today.
Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
YOGA FUSION WITH ROBERT Y
Robert is taking the day off to enjoy his holiday. But, if you’re looking for a Yoga Fusion workout, check out our Virtual Class Library with videos of previous weeks’ classes.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Click here to view our weekly schedule.
If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.
Today’s Trainer Moves
When you need a quick break from your desk, join Lauren for a fun, effective mobility workout. You’ll improve your mobility and feel great!
For questions about today’s trainer moves, contact Lauren here.
No-Cook Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
These low-carb, spiralized zucchini noodles when paired with pesto make a delicious no-cook vegetarian meal that you’ll absolutely love this summer! The pesto adds so much flavour, yet the garden-fresh noodles and tomatoes are super light. And the best part is you don’t even have to turn on the stove! Recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.
Click here to download the recipe.
For more recipes like this, check out our Spice of Life Recipe Book.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1 large ripe heirloom tomato, chopped or 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- freshly ground parmesan, to taste
- Coarse Salt, preferably Maldon Celtic Sea Salt Flakes
- Cut zucchini into long strands with a spiralizer.
- Set noodles in a large colander. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt on top and toss to coat. Let sit 10 minutes.
- Rinse and drain well, gently squeezing out the excess moisture.
- Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat.
- Add pesto and toss to coat evenly.
- Divide zucchini among 4 pasta bowls. Top with a scattering of chopped tomato. Top with Parmesan, pepper, and sea salt.
Make Ahead Notes:
- You can make the components for it up to five days in advance. Keep the zoodles separate or they will get too watery.
- Keep the pesto in a jar. The top layer will darken, but under the surface it will stay nice and green.
- Once you make the zucchini noodles, do not toss them with salt. (Keeping them as dry as possible will actually help them stay fresh longer.) Then put them into an airtight container or Ziplock bag and keep it in the fridge.
- Cut the tomato at the last minute.