This guest post was written by Naomi Bisson.
One challenge of trying to improve your health is being more active. For people out there with fitness trackers, you usually make it a goal to get more steps in a day and those of you without one may just be trying to be more active. This is something that I've been personally working on since I am sitting down most of the time.
A lot of you guys work desk jobs, which means you sit a lot, when you watch TV you're sitting, when you text or go on social media, you're sitting. The point is we are sitting almost all the time!
For me personally, I noticed that when I started this whole blogging thing, it has caused me to sit a lot more. So, this is something I have been working to improve and I would like to share what has helped.
Before we get into that I would like to talk about the problems with sitting. If you want to skip over that, that's okay with me but this can actually motivate you to be more active. It's your choice.
Did you know we are actually not supposed to sit all day? Even though we find it relaxing, being sedentary all day can actually take a toll on our health.
You may think that people don't sit that much but Canadian adults spend almost 10 hours a day being sedentary. (1)
This is a problem because sitting for long periods of time has been linked to problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Also, because you're sitting for long periods of time you aren't burning as many calories as you would if you were more active. This can lead to weight gain and obesity. (2)
One of the main things you can do to be more active is by moving around every half an hour or so. If you work at a desk, you can just take a few minutes to walk around the office or stretch. So, whenever you are sitting for long periods of time, take a break and move around.
Another option is limiting screen time. I noticed this to be a problem because instead of doing stuff, I get caught up in a show which makes me sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This just leads to being less active. So, you want to try setting time limits for yourself so that you can do other things along with being more active. (3)
To stay active you can also do things like chores. You may be wondering how chores can help but they can keep you active. For example, if you are vacuuming, you're still walking around the house and doing something productive. To learn more about this you can go to my article about how to get enough exercise here.
Hobbies are another way you can stay active. If you do things that make you move around such as building or repairing something, playing a sport or going for a bike ride. These can be relaxing and help you get more steps.
You can also do some small things throughout the day to stay active. For example, you can stand up when talking on the phone or even while watching TV; Or even better, use a treadmill while watching TV.
You can also take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators. Or you can do more active things instead of watching TV. (4)
Just think of different things you can do while walking or standing instead of sitting.
I know this may sound a bit childish but I recently discovered a new way to stay active. There are lots of video games out there that require you to move. For example, Just Dance, Rabbids, etc. Why not do these yourself or even with your kids for extra exercise?
There are also "games" that are exercise things that you can do. In fact, Just Dance has a Just Sweat feature for exercise.
This is something fun you can do and it takes you a bit out of your comfort zone.
As a family, try to go more walks, bike rides, or play a sport together. This will allow your family to spend time with each other but everyone can also get more exercise.
To actually be able to do this, your family can set a goal for how many times they would like to do this every week. Then together you can find the best times to go that work with everyone's schedule.
Try going outside for a bit every day. If that's not possible try to make a goal for the week. You can do things like playing a sport, walking around, hiking, etc.
You can even try going camping. This opens up all kinds of activities that will keep you active such as swimming, hiking, walking, biking, canoeing, etc. In the winter you can go sliding, snowshoeing, skiing, etc. (6)
An interesting tip I read while doing some research on this subject is using an exercise ball when you sit. This is apparently better for your back and can help you move and stretch. It also engages your muscles. (7)
You can use an exercise ball while you are working at a computer, watching TV, using social media and almost every other time you sit.
There may be a health risk of doing this for a prolonged period of time. I recommend checking out this website to get more information.
Usually, when we are working we are mostly sitting. One way to fix this is by getting a standing desk instead. This will help you burn more calories and be more active.
Another way to be more active is by cooking your own meals. The food is not only better for you but it gets you moving around the kitchen. (8)
In conclusion, try to make it a goal to stay active. This is usually easier to track if you have a fitness tracker but you can still do this without one. There are many things you can do from sitting on an exercise ball to walking every day. Either way, it will contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
I hope this was helpful, if you want to find more information on how to live a healthier life, you can go to healthontheside.com.