How Can I Reduce My Sitting Time?
This week’s Weight Watchers Meeting was all about how to sit less and move more, something I need to focus on. See that rocking chair? I would be content to sit it in till I grew roots!
I always hate it when I learn that I’ve been deluding myself. For years I was in denial about just how much I ate, which is what landed me in Weight Watchers in the first place.
And now, thanks to the power of a pedometer, I realize I’ve been deluding myself about how “active” I am. I walk every morning and conduct small group and private yoga sessions several mornings a week most of the year. I live in a two-story townhouse, spend lots of time in the kitchen, and always park a distance away from my destination when out doing errands. I really thought I was doing well. But the pedometer tells a different truth.
There are now some studies suggesting that walking 10,000 steps a day (or about 5 miles) can help with ongoing weight management. And for me to get to 10,000 steps a day, I need to find ways to move more!
Why is Increasing Your Activity So Important?
Why is this so important? Well it turns out there are lots of reasons to be more active:
1. Avoid Weight Gain. Being less active leads to weight gain. There’s a definite correlation between the amount of activity you get and what you weigh. Studies show that obese people sit 2.5 hours more each day than lean people do. That means, on average,they burn 350 fewer calories a day, which over a years adds up to 36 pounds!
2. Lower Risk of Death. According to a study by the American Cancer Society, women who sit more than 6 hours a day have a 37% increased risk of death.
3. Avoid Health Risks. Sitting too long has the following additional negative effects on your body:
- Decreased circulation
- Increased muscle weakness
- Increased back pain making it harder to exercise
- Less energy
- Less electrical activity in the legs
- Slower metabolism
- Decrease (90%) in enzymes that help dissolve fat
- Drop of 20% in good cholesterol
- Increased blood sugar spikes after meals
- Greater risk of diabetes and heart disease
So, What Can You Do To Get More Movement Into Your Day?
- Wear a pedometer. It causes you to pay attention and consciously find more ways to move throughout the day. Set a goal and increase it over time.
- Take the stairs whenever you can. One member now takes the stairs at her 7 story hospital!
- Use a bathroom on a different floor.
- Raise your desk and spend some computer time standing.
- Stand and walk around while on the phone.
- Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball. It causes you to sit up straight and engage your core muscles to stay seated on it.
- Park in the furthest end of the parking lot away from the entrance when shopping and doing errands.
- Skip the drive-through and park and go inside to do your banking, pick up prescriptions, etc.
- Find ways to be less efficient. Carry your groceries in a couple bags at a time.
- Play with your kids more (Ideas for Turning Exercise Into Play)
- Take a walk at lunch and/or after dinner.
- Instead of sitting at your kids sporting and other events, walk around the field, track, room, etc.
- Set a timer to go off every 30-60 minutes and then take a few breaths and stretch. Get up and move around.
- Find exercises you can do at your desk several times a day.
- Take public transportation.
- Stand at meetings instead of sitting
- Lift weights, march in place, and do other exercises while watching tv or during commercials.
- Get up and do something productive during commercials.
- Lose the remote. Get up and change the channel the old fashioned way.
- Walk to a colleague’s office instead of calling or sending email.
- Use a small water glass so you have to get up and re-fill it often. (23 Easy Ways to Drink More Water)
- Do your own housework or yard work, wash your car
- Stand do do some things you usually sit to do – paying bills, making lists, reading the newspaper in the morning.
- Stand at parties and happy hours.
- Play with your kids or pets.
- Walk your dog.
Motivational Quote of the Week:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit” (Aristotle)
My Personal Tracking Results:
- Weighed in under goal
- Met my good health guidelines – liquids, vitamins, healthy oils, fruits and veggies, lean proteins, nonfat dairy
- Earned 14 activity points
- Got through the week with a few weekly PPVs to spare
- Switching to the WW 3 month journal that I leave on the counter has improved my tracking. Electronics are convenient and it’s fun to track with my iPhone/iPad, but I think I’m a pen & paper girl at heart 🙂
- Lot’s of nice positive feedback from group participants, which always feels good.
- I’m trying to jot down one or two positive things I do each day to keep me motivated and it feels like it’s working.
- Adopting a “French Lady” attitude of not snacking between meals has been very helpful for me.
- My cravings are way way down.
- Mom wanted to go out for pizza and then, at the last minute, changed her mind to fish and chips. I said yes to pizza because I knew I could make it work for me, but NO to fish and chips because I would have felt heavy, bloated and sick all afternoon (Or at least I think I would have.)
- I’m having so much fun reading the original WW plan and cookbook from 1966 and have even found a few recipes to try.
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