Good news: when it comes to our overall health, some of the changes you can make that have the biggest payoffs, are the simplest. One example? Simply move more.
No, it doesn’t require becoming a Jillian Michaels-level workout junkie. You don’t have to go 100% raw and macrobiotic. You don’t even have to suddenly take up drinking a gallon of water a day (though that’s not a bad idea).
At the end of the day, our health improves so dramatically if we simply move more. You’ve no doubt heard that sitting is killing us. Some even go so far as to compare sitting to detrimental cigarettes and call sitting “the new smoking.”
And you’ve also probably heard that – as a society – we’ve never been so sedentary. When you consider our typical day seated at a desk from nine to five, maybe an hour or more in our cars commuting, and then coming home to watch Netflix on the couch, most of us are unintentionally spending the vast majorities of our days sitting.
Over time, this spells disaster for our health.
Why We Need to Move More: The Surprisingly Scary Health Risks of Sitting Too Much
There is one shocking statistic that really says it all. According to studies, for every hour we sit, our life expectancy decreases by two hours. No matter your genetics, baseline health, nutrition habits, whatever – the more you sit, the shorter your life expectancy tends to be.
Lack of movement decreases blood flow in our bodies and basically slows our biological processes down. This decreases the health and vitality of our entire bodies, and thus shortens our lives.
Most of us think of daily workouts when we’re told we need to get more active and move more. And while this helps immensely, a daily workout on its own isn’t enough to counter sitting at a desk for six to eight hours a day.
Working out is simply not enough to counter an all day everyday routine of sitting.
Working out is simply not enough to counter an all day everyday routine of sitting. It’s not just about our sweat sessions, but also working more movement into our nine-to-five lives.
The guidelines suggest we should all be sitting less than three hours a day, while also getting in at least 10,000 steps per day.
Stressed out yet? Breathe! There are definitely ways to move more in your daily life. So finish reading before you lace up your sneakers and hit the treadmill in a panic.
So, Here’s Your Simple 30-Day Challenge to Move More and Feel Better:
Here’s a full month of daily challenges to bring more movement into your life. These little steps will add up, and every bit counts.
So, start this 30-day challenge today to move more and feel better ASAP:
Stand up and briefly stretch every hour on the hour (set an alarm!)
Practice this 5-minute morning yoga flow
Do 15 walking lunges (each leg) down your hallway
Take a 15-minute morning walk before work
Walk across the hall to talk to a coworker instead of sending an email
Crank up the music and have a solo dance party in your living room!
Park your car far away from the store and walk
Tidy up the house to burn some calories
Do 50 squats before leaving for work
Try one of these 10-minute bodyweight workouts before work
Take a work meeting out on a walk
Walk your dog (or go with a friend!)
Do some gentle stretching for the duration of your favorite TV show
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Wind down with some (or all) of these nighttime yoga poses for a better night’s sleep
Work in your garden or pot a few indoor plants
Practice five simple Sun Salutations upon waking
Organize the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach things
Do calf raises while brushing your teeth
Do 75 squats before leaving for work
Try a gym class you’ve been eyeing
Go on a walk and window-shop
Walk to lunch and walk back
Invite your friend to join you on a run or a fitness class date
When the commercials play, drop and do push-ups
Use an exercise ball for a chair
Get even more out of your exercise ball! Here’s How to Use an Exercise Ball for Full Body Strengthening (Free Video)
Do 100 squats before leaving for work
Bike to work or walk to a bus stop and use public transportation
Do this workout in your living room or outside
Start using a standing desk (or order one!)
Need more ideas to move more? Get moving with YogiApproved Classes with the Yoga Strong Challenge
Use This 30-Day Challenge as a Starting Point to Move More Everyday
Feeling inspired to get moving? Remember, simple changes (done daily over time) equal huge positive changes in our health. You don’t have to overhaul everything you do.
Just hop off the couch and commit to this 30-day challenge. By the end of the month, you’ll not only feel better, but you will also be well on your way to creating new healthy, lifelong habits.
Cheers to a simple 30-day challenge and a brand new healthier you!
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.