How to counteract the effects of a sit-and-work lifestyle through simply walking.
It’s the small things we often do that what we do every day can have the most significant impact.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous, vigorous, or performed for long durations to see improvements in our health. Simply walking more can be the answer. It is the basic underrated activity that can swiftly lead us into better health.
If you are sitting behind a computer for most of the day, the chances are your average steps are under 5k. Numerous studies have shown unfavorable indicators of body composition and cardiometabolic risk have been consistently associated with taking under 5000 steps a day.
Fortunately, technology also counteracts our modern lifestyle of long hours of sitting down with our eyes glued to screens. Tools like activity trackers, smartwatches, and wearables allow us to monitor our activity level, and with this awareness, we can motivate physical activity behaviors.
This can be the soft transition to your active lifestyle. Getting in the active zone allows you to improve your health immediately without considerable physical effort.
- Any movement helps lubricate your joints, decreasing pain and stiffness and increasing range of motion.
- Boost muscle power and endurance. All those long hours behind the desk are causing your legs and glutes to weaken and hip flexors to shorten over time. Moving will feel great!
- Increase cerebral blood flow, boost brain activity, and avoid neurodegenerative diseases. Take short 2 min walking breaks to activate your creativity and prevent cloud thinking.
- Boost your mood. Reduces stress and tension. You can make it fun, listen to a podcast or make a good playlist with your music.
- Help maintain a healthy weight. Everything the body does requires energy. The more we walk, the more energy we use. Taking a post-meal walk can help stabilize blood sugar and give you more energy.
- Decrease your cancer and cardiovascular risk. Avoid Metabolic syndrome and complications of chronic diseases.
- Active Pauses during work hours can extend your lifespan. Let’s walk for our lives!
A recent study from JAMA concluded that in a cohort of Black and White men and women in middle adulthood, participants who took approximately 7000 steps/d or more experienced lower mortality rates than participants taking fewer than 7000 steps/d.
If you need support in how to begin, a Lifestyle Coach at GluCare can set you up with tools to get started. Research shows you are more likely to reach your goals when they are not a secret. Having an accountability partner can make the difference in enjoying the process and stepping up to a healthier thriving life.
JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2124516. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24516