Do you make an effort to interrupt your sitting time during the day? We know that moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity can help to slow aging. The current evidence based guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity (brisk walking) physical activity each week.
That’s just 30 minutes of exercise five days each week. But what about those other minutes of your week? Do you find yourself sitting more than moving around?
We live in a fun society full of technology and adventure. And we can access this from our chair. I upgraded my smartphone recently and got a virtual reality headset. What an experience to sit in my chair and look at 360 degree pictures of beaches, mountains, cities and towns all over the world! I also stood up and went on a virtual roller coaster ride that almost made me fall down because it looked and felt so real!
Our society of comfort, ease and technology is doing a good job at keeping us seated. We need to have strategies ready to reduce the sedentary times in our day. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) lists a few ways to reduce our sitting times during the day.
While watching TV. Put the remote control by the TV. Stand up during the commercials. Do some house chores like laundry folding or sorting files while watching TV.
While at the computer. Set an alarm to remind you to move after a short period of time (like every 20-30 minutes). Don’t play games on the computer.
While reading. Stand up after you’ve finished a chapter. Stand up to read the mail.
While traveling. Stand up when waiting for a bus, train or plane to arrive. Park your car further away from the entrances of where you’re going.
While working on hobbies. Stand up after each hand of bridge, cutting fabric for quilting, or after completing the down clues for a crossword puzzle.
While socializing. Don’t wait to be served when at a social gathering, get refreshments for yourself and others. Stand up during intermissions at the theater, concerts or performances. Stand up while talking on the phone.
While doing household chores. Split up the chores and make separate trips to the mailbox and to take the trash out. Do some range of motion exercises while waiting for the food to cook. Add extra walking into your daily trip to the mailbox or trash can.
Make a commitment to reduce your daily sitting time. Here’s to you choosing to eat well, sleep well and exercise.
Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the December 8, 2016 edition of the Seaford Star.