Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Ways to Move a Little More

With all the new methods of transportation, technological gadgets, and space-age machinery readily available at our fingertips, our society is becoming more and more accustomed to being lazy and not moving. Especially in America, we tend to drive everywhere and find pure enjoyment from sedentary activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet. It is pretty much common knowledge that exercise and movement keep our bodies healthy, promote weight management, and reduce stress levels. However, coming from a sedentary lifestyle and jumping into a serious, full-on exercise regime can prove to be rather difficult; you may become too tired the next day or unmotivated with the lack of instant results. What many of us don't realize is that you can start out slowly at a pace that is comfortable for you. By slowly turning around your sedentary life into a more active one, you will become aware of how much you move during the day; this awareness will motivate you to make a conscious effort to move more often. Once you start moving just a little, you will eventually build up your stamina, allowing you to exercise with a little more oomph!

We always hear the simple ways of taking a walk or getting up from your desk every half hour or so in order to get a little activity in our lives, but here are some even easier ways to get yourself up and moving!

1) Utilize your basement Rather than keeping items as close to you as possible, try storing more objects in your basement or attic. Of course, some items you need close by because they are used way too frequently to be put further away or for safety reasons, but other items don't necessarily need to be sitting right on your lap. Do you really need to store all of your cooking ware in your kitchen? Can you keep your DVD's on a shelf downstairs? By keeping these items further away, especially items that you actually use (if you want some activity, it wouldn't make sense to store that book you will never read again in the basement for that reason!), you automatically are forcing yourself to move in order to get them. Heck, if you really need to snack on that candy bar during the day, keep it in the basement - at least you get SOME exercise before eating it! No basement or attic? Even storing things in a room further away from the place that you use them in makes you move a little. You probably have more than one room, so use them!

2) Longcut - don't shortcut Do you ever find yourself walking through the prettily-planted meridian in a parking lot because it is in a more direct location from your car? Stop being lazy and squashing the poor plants that someone takes the time to take care of and simply walk around it! Do you ever stretch from your chair as far as you can and almost fall out just because you were trying to reach the pen you dropped without needing to stand up? Get your butt up and move to snatch it! Taking the longcut to do simple activities adds more movement to your day with little effort or wasted time on your part.

3) Use them legs and stand In most cases, there are no written rules that you must sit to do certain activities. As far as I know, it is not a mandated law that I have to write a grocery list while sitting. For activities and situations that don't require you to sit, stand up and do them! Although not much, it still takes more energy for your body to stand compared to sitting, thus more calories are burned while standing. If you are capable of doing so, lighten the load on your derriere at home, at work, or at the waiting room lobby and share the load with your legs.

4) The table to the side of you is not too far away - No settling I can't believe the show ended that way!...UGH...time to change the channel...oh wait...where is the remote...it's all the way over there...I guess the paid programming is fine...How many times do we just settle on something for the pure fact that we are just too lazy to go get something or to do something? My guess is - a lot.  We work a ton of hours and once we finally get the chance to squish into our favorite chairs and become comfortable, we don't feel like moving any more.  This is bad! Rather than enjoying what we really want, we just settle on something less thrilling.  Taking a few extra steps to go grab that magazine you want or to chase down that remote not only allows us to get a little more movement in our lives, but it also gives us the chance to enjoy our moments more, as you will be satisfying your craving.

5) Didn't your mother ever tell you not to point? This manner may or may not be as prevalent in our society, but it still exudes a lack of interest.  When someone asks you to locate something, be a little more social and go show them; don't just spin them around and push them off into the general direction.  Not only will this make you more personable - heck, you never know what interesting things you will learn in this maybe minute long journey! - but it will also give you a few extra steps in your day.

6) Just take the dang parking spot in the back Unless you need to be parked up right in front of the Walmart doors for medical or physical reasons, just park in the back.  In the time you spend driving around looking for an open spot, finding one, waiting for 6 kids to be loaded into the van along with the stockpile of 400 bags, you most likely could have walked from the back of the parking lot to the store.  You generally aren't saving much time (especially if you go to Walmart - I swear...that store attracts people like flies).  Even if there are a ton of openings in the front, add some exercise in your day and park in the back of the parking lot.  You may even have a quicker exit out of that trafficy mess!

7) Put things away right away - you won't have to look at them later Yes, you will eventually be moving when you have to hang up EVERY piece of clothing from your closet, but why not spread out those extra bends and lifts right away.  When we just throw everything down on the ground, leave our bed unfolded, or let the dishes pile up, it just adds up and becomes even more daunting to look at and tackle, creating unnecessary stress.  Tidying up after yourself keeps you moving all day and allows you to spread out the work, so you aren't stuck spending your whole night cleaning.  So push in that chair, bring that shopping cart back to the cart corral - you'll gain some feel good manners in the process!

8) Waiting can be soooooo boring - so do something! While you are waiting for someone to come over or for your stew to be done brewing or even waiting to be called up at the DMV (can we say, 9 hours later?), do something productive with your time.  Put down your Candy Crush and go grab a drink, go put away the dishes (see above), stand up and meander around, do cartwheels - do anything other than just sitting.  Not only will you be moving more, you will see how quickly all these extra moments add up and benefit your productivity.

9) Commercials are a break for our beloved TV characters, not us Okay, I know how stressful a TV show can become and we feel as if we need a short relaxer before we find out who he's going to choose or who the culprit is...trust me, I watch Vampire Diaries, I KNOW...but remember - while we have been sitting watching the program, we haven't really been doing much, other than occasionally stuffing our faces with Cheetos or carrot sticks.  TV commercials take FOREVER, so go make use of that time and do some things that need to be done; go check your laundry or go grab a glass of water since you probably have been screaming at the TV.

10) Give someone a hug This sounds lame, right? Well, too bad, so sad, go do it! Walking over to give a loved one a hug and actually completing the action not only makes our body move, but it also has many other benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing serotonin levels and thus creating happiness, and simply showing someone how much we love them and care for them.  Don't have anyone to hug, that's okay, your pillow can be just as soft and warm, if not softer!

No, these tips aren't going to make us the next fitness guru or bikini model (that would sure be nice, though), but they will help us become more conscious of our movements, making us rethink the next time we just feel like wallowing and sagging into our chairs! Go let every movement count! Now you stop reading this and I'll stop writing this and let's go move!

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