Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ways to Add Some MOVEment to Your Daily Life

Hello from the Sunshine State!


From my last post, I hope that you have made some effort to MOVE a little more?IMG_2990

If you haven’t, here are some tips!

1. At work/school

Yes, I know that work/school load forces you to sit for most of the day. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Drink more water

When you drink more water, nature calls! That means that you would have to MOVE (to the toilet). Drink a cup of water every other hour or so. Water is good for your body, keeps you hydrated (especially under the aircon) and it is good for your skin!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Use a cup instead of having a big bottle near you. That way, you’d have to get up and get water = MORE MOVEMENT! #toughlife but trust me, it is worth it.

Lunch hour/Snack time

Meal times are a great way to get up and about. Even if you have packed your own lunch, take it outside! Have it under the sun. IMG_3911You’d get your dose of Vitamin D, some movement and it helps to clear the mind! We all need a mental break from work. You’ll be feeling fresh and ready to smash out the rest of the work day. It also helps with post-food sluggish-ness.

STRETCH!

I tend to have VERY tight hips, shoulders and upper back. The lost in range of motion in these areas have caused lower back pain over the years. It gets WORSE with sitting! Every 30-45 mins or so, I would get up and do some light standing stretches. IMG_1045

This is my favourite dynamic stretch!IMG_2950

Twist your upper back to your right while driving your right knee towards the left. I do 5 reps on each side.

2. Transport

Traffic can be a nightmare. Some spend up to 3 hours just stuck in traffic! It is an absolute waste of time plus you end up with more SITTING.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You can:

-Get up earlier (avoid traffic)

-Get off work later (slot in some workout time after work to beat the traffic! Great way to kill time!)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

-Park further away (brisk walk)

-Cycle/walk to work/school (I know this is not possible/feasible for everyone. But if it is, DO IT!)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

-If you’re in a train/bus, walk around if possible. Just make sure that it is safe and that you’re not disturbing other passengers.

3. At Home

Cut out time spent on screens (TV, comp, game consoles, phone etc). Spend more time with your family over fun games or do some CHORES! I don’t know about you but I LOVE to clean! It satisfies the OCD-ness in me and I find it very therapeutic.

4. Anywhere

TAKE THE STAIRS! If you know me from my Uni days, you’d know that I NEVER take the lift. FullSizeRenderEven if we had to climb 16 flights of stairs! Sometimes, I take the stairs at malls too.


These are just some of the many small ways that you can add some MOVEment to your day.

The HARDEST part is getting it done!

You might think: PFFFFT! These small changes wouldn’t change anything!

1 year = 365 days x the rest of your life

Start setting some small goals and get to it.

Our human bodies are made to MOVE! You’ll feel SO MUCH better!

*Again, this is your cue to get up!*

Sitting – The New Smoking?

We all know that physical activity is important for general health. The typical guideline for physical activity (in a week):

150-300 minutes of MODERATE intensity (power walking, walking, house chores etc)

OR

75-150 minutes of VIGOROUS intensity (running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc)

OR

A combination of both

PLUS

at least 2 days of strength trainingIMG_5105


To the already-active individual, hitting the recommended hours in this guideline would be a piece of cake! I know many people who can complete it in 2 days (myself included)!

BUT! (there’s always a but)IMG_6701

If you are sitting (sedentary) for most of the time when you are NOT being active, you’re not much better off than the physically inactive person.

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If you workout for 60 minutes or more but spend the rest of the day seated (work/school/etc), then congratulations! You’re an Active-Couch Potato! Sounds cute but the effects are not that cute. In fact, it can be life threatening. Active-couch potato-ing has been associated with unwanted metabolic biomarkers (decrease in insulin sensitivity) [1].


What is “sitting”?

Sitting (or sedentary behaviour) includes behaviours that do not use much energy (less than 1.5 metabolic equivalents) during the hours that you are awake [2].

IMG_2718

Examples: Driving/commuting for long hours, seated at a desk for work/school, watching tv, meal times, chilling by the beach etc

funny-quotes-sitting-on-the-border-of-awesome-and-bombdiggity

Technology has both improved and worsen the situation. On one end of the spectrum, there are many available trackers/step counters/health apps/fitness apps etc that can encourage movement. And on the other end, it contributes to more SITTING! From online shopping to food delivery. Heh, we don’t even need to go grocery shopping or cook our food!


Sitting and Health

More sitting time has been associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Obesity

This is an easy one. If you eat more than you expend = weight gain.

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In essence, if inactivity is not offset with a decrease in food, you’re heading for obesity land.

Type 2 diabetes and Hearth Problems

Our body cells use energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which are made from blood glucose (carb) and triglycerides (fat). Sitting decreases the demand for ATP (because you’re not using much of it) and downregulates the mechanisms that are used for drawing glucose and triglycerides from the blood into the muscle cells. These include the GLUT-4 transporter protein (needed for blood glucose to enter the cell) and lipoprotein lipase (enzyme that breaks down triglycerides to free fatty acids to fuel muscle cells).IMG_1726

This is also “sitting”!

This will ultimately lead to MORE glucose AND triglycerides in the blood which are well established risk factors for developing heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes!


If you think you are active, THINK AGAIN!IMG_1647

How many hours do YOU spend sitting?

This is also your cue to GET UP and MOVE!