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The Art of Action: How to practice action in a lethargic world

November 08, 2018

The Art of Action:  How to practice action in a lethargic world

How to be active when the world wants you to slow down.

We all try our best to be healthy, but even if we try to eat our vegetables 3 times a day and exercise for at least an hour we still find ourselves sitting in front of screens or just sitting for long periods of time. So what can we do to be active while still doing our jobs for 8 hours a day?  

Here are some tips on how to practice being active in your daily life:

Avoid sitting for extended periods of time  (At work and home)

Sometimes sitting all day seems inevitable or sometimes it happens without us noticing. Here are some practices you can apply to stand more at work and in the home.

  • Walk around when you are on the phone

This is something that you can do either at home or work. It may be a bit more difficult to do if you work in a small office, but getting phone calls can serve as a reminder to at least stand up if you can’t walk around.

  • Stairs over elevator

It may seem like something small but it can add up. I challenge you to take the stairs every day for a week and see how you feel afterward. Even if your office is just one floor up it can truly make a difference. If your office is on the 13th floor, perhaps start by taking the stairs halfway and keep adding floors each week.   

  • Walk after lunch

Walking after meals has shown to potentially help with digestion. It is also a nice excuse to explore the neighborhood around your favorite lunch spot. If you pack your lunch for work, instead of eating it in your office or the break room, try walking to a local park and enjoying it there.

  •  Park a little further

Instead of fighting for the closest spot to the office or your house, opt to park a little further away and take a stroll. Just don’t forget where you parked! 

(Pro tip: keep kids off the phones in the car by playing some road-trip games like I-Spy & always remember to wear seatbelts)

 

  • Drink more water

Not only will taking those trips to the water station and bathroom serve as valuable standing time, but hydration is the key to healthy living.

 

Avoid Screen Time (TVs, Computers, Phones)  

 

  • Set a meeting on the phone instead of on an instant messaging chat

Then on the phone meeting you can stand up and walk around - even look out a window. We often spend extra time chatting with co-workers online trying to solve an issue that can be solved much quicker if we would just pick up the phone.

  • Set a timer and stick with it.

It’s easy to get wrapped in a TV series and tell yourself, “just one more episode”. But with episodes reaching up to an hour, it’s best to take breaks between episodes and even during episodes. Make it a goal to try to stand up the whole commercial break, do a little dance or some jumping jacks to add a little cardio into your day.

 

  • Get a new hobby.

Lots of times we turn to screens when we are bored. Use the screen one last time to look-up a hobby or community group you want to join and then do that instead of watch TV or sit in front of a computer. If you are having trouble thinking of a hobby, try to think of something you loved doing as a kid and see if there is an adult version for you to try.

  • Socialize in real life.

Lately going out has become expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Grab a couple of close friends and go on a hike, go to the beach, or have a potluck picnic. If you live in a place where it rains or snows a lot look into fun indoor activities that you can do with friends, I heard escape rooms are fun!

 

 

  • Be active.

If you find that there is absolutely no possible way that you can cut back on screen-time, the least you can do is be active while looking at the screen. Simply stretching or doing light workouts during screen time can at least help from being too sedentary.

 

 

Reference:
Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Loretta DiPietro, Andrei Gribok, Michelle S. Stevens, Larry F. Hamm, WilliamRumpler
Diabetes Care Oct 2013, 36 (10) 3262-3268; DOI: 10.2337/dc13-0084