I was standing in front of the large conference room. Folding chairs that were once in tidy rows were now out of place, as the occupants shifted around, having fidgeted through a morning of presentations.
And now it was my turn.
I was invited to lead a series of corporate workshops on wellness, and today’s topic was about exercise. It felt ironic that everyone was sitting except me.
Several days earlier, as I prepared the powerpoint slides, I found myself getting philosophical about the subject. It occurred to me that the need to even talk about “exercise” was really relatively new, a byproduct of our increasingly sedentary lives.
With each decade that passes, we spend more and more time sitting – for both our livelihood and our leisure.
Because our daily living no longer requires us to do so, we’re now told to carve out a specific 30 minute block of time, most days of the week to engage in something called “exercise,” simply defined as bodily exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health.
Sure, getting “exercise” is important, but there are caveats to that. Studies have shown that all other things being equal (smoking, eating habits etc.), those who have physically active jobs – e.g. nurses, construction workers etc. and do not engage in specific “exercise” tend to be in better health than those who sit at a desk all day (most of us!) and “workout” 3 times a week.
It’s movement or activity that’s important.
At the risk of sounding boring, I’ll share a few facts:
· Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce the risk for more than 25 chronic health conditions and premature mortality by at least 20-30%.
· According to The World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (approx. 3.2 million deaths/year)
· Exercise, or more importantly, activity or movement has many benefits, including:
- relieving stress
- reducing depression
- improving cognitive function
- sleeping better
- overall feeling good
So, the key question is, "How do I get more movement or activity into my day?"
Here are just a few tips to get you started:
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Break away from that computer – stand up and move every hour (do what I do – set a timer)
- Walk for 10 minutes after lunch
- Have walking meetings
- Take a walk around the neighborhood with family members, friends or your dog
- Play with your kids - jumping rope, race or ride bikes
- Check out local Meetup groups for walking, hiking or recreational sports that you enjoy
I welcome your questions and comments. Simply click on Comment and I’d be happy to respond. Know someone who’d like this? Please pass it along.
Wishing you movement,
P.S. Need some help getting movement into your day? That’s why I’m here. I can help you figure out what’s getting in the way between you and better choices. Let’s have a chat about how integrative health coaching works and find out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now