If you have ever used an inversion table (hanging upside down), have you noticed how ‘flat’ your stomach becomes? Or, if you stand up straight, shoulders back and down, do you notice how you look trimmer? All of that reflects getting our body in alignment so it can function and works with gravity.
The challenge is that most people sit for hours each day – – – AND – – they sit slouching with shoulders forward while at a computer, driving or watching TV! When we sit for long periods of time, with poor posture we let gravity do it’s ‘negative work’ and age us!
Regular exercise (such as gym, cardio, Pilates, etc.) though good do not overcome the negative impact of being sedentary, aka sitting!!
What can you do?
Get up every 15-30 minutes and just move. Getting up, moving and then sitting back down helps reverse that aging process. Consider getting up and down a minimum of 30-40 times/day. Just standing up and sitting back down has a profound impact on your health, and now it can save you a trip to the gym!
– Notice how many hours you sit or just stand!
Sitting for long periods and/or just standing for long periods (i.e., retail jobs) do not give the benefits of up/down and movement.
– Consider a pedometer.
Ideally you want to get 10,000 steps/day. Most people are around 5,000. The Amish, who walk a lot, often get 18-20,000 steps a day. Sometimes our lives of convenience are not serving us!
– Stretch at your desk.
Hold your head high, bend your left arm behind your back to grab the elbow of the right arm held straight down. This will help bring the shoulder blades together. Repeat on the other side. This helps relieve shoulder tension. Doing this just a few times a day, has significant long term benefits to a life of mobility and flexibility.
– Walk tall and with purpose.
A brisk walk every day does a lot to support the whole body and to strengthen the core muscles that support your entire frame.
Most people hold onto the railing and look down. Practice looking straight ahead while going up and down to begin developing better balance. Go slow in the beginning – – maybe just quit holding the railing. Then advance to looking straight-ahead going up. Then slowly begin to look ahead when going down the last step. Slowly increase the ease with which you go up and down stairs. This is a very good indicator of the aging process.
– Put on your socks (or shoes).
Practice until you can put shoes and/or socks on while standing on one foot. Once that is really easy (take your time!), practice doing it with your eyes closed. This requires that you have good posture. Little moves like this serve to strengthen all of your key core muscles. No you might not get huge biceps, but you’ll stand taller and walk with more confidence as you age! And yes, we’ll all get to those senior years . . . how you walk and move in your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s can be dramatically impacted by the ‘baby steps’ you take now.
Take one baby step at a time – – MOVE! Be like a child and move! Every moment matters and every movement moves you towards reversing that aging process!!
The research is compelling – the movements we make through out the day, and how we make them, have a greater impact on our well being than those 3 ‘extreme workouts’ you try to fit into your busy schedule every week.