We all know exercise is a critical component of the overall wellness quest. However, the common question Dr. Michele and I get is, “How much and what type?” The short answer is this…
Everyone should move more and sit less!
The greatest benefits of exercise relate simply to the movement of muscles and joints and the optimization of adaptive hormones, NOT the burning of calories.
It should also be noted, but not as the focus of this article, that a pattern of chronic exercise in pursuit of extreme fitness goals can trigger increased cravings for quick energy carbohydrates, inhibit fat metabolism, compromise immune system, exhaust the body’s stress management mechanisms, and break down or prevent the development of lean muscle tissue.
We recommend 2-5 hours of dedicated activity per week.
This includes infrequent high intensity training as well as dedicated, steady state, aerobic training.
We generally strive to target our dedicated cardio time to achieving a 60 to 75% max heart rate zone. We really don’t want to stray too far and too long above the zone because it triggers more glucose burning and less fat burning.
We must understand that inactivity, without a doubt, leads to serious metabolic and hormonal imbalances. The results of these imbalances are inhibited glucose metabolism, elevated triglyceride levels, elevated blood pressure, and excess body fat storage.
When we sit too much, even our brain begins to change. In other words, out brain gets rewired to adapt to the increased inactivity.
5 Tips to Avoid the Sedentary Lifestyle
- Walk 5 to 10 minutes after every meal. This will prolong any glucose elevation and consequently an elevated insulin response.
- Place a note on your desk with the numbers 20 and 2. This will act as a reminder to stand up for 2 minutes and move for every 20 minutes you are sitting or standing still.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Make these breaks, when possible, be outside. Enjoy the fresh air, see the sights, and engage in nature.
- Take phone calls standing up. Along the same lines, consider conducting personal meetings while walking through your office or even outside of the workplace.
- Take a 10 minute mental escape daily. Yes, we said active and purposeful daydreaming. Think of and dream of a place, time, or situation that invokes the emotions of joy, peace, laughter, and happiness.
We like to call this the fabulous 5. Putting these five tips into practice will result in a long-term, fist full, of health. This full fist is necessary to knock out the sedentary lifestyle.
Avoid the sedentary lifestyle at all costs. Make movement part of the fabric of your being.
When you get down to it..we were made to move, and our bodies are dying (and even crying) to do it.