We all lead busy lives. Between work, family and the time we spend helping others, we have little time to devote to our health and wellness. This can lead to stress and weight gain, two factors that often go hand-in-hand. However, we can start to reverse this by just being more active.
In a 2005 study, Levine recruited 20 healthy volunteers -- 10 lean people (5 men/5 women) and 10 people classified as grade 1 obese (5 men/5 women). Levine was looking for physical activity differences between these two groups. Levine found that grade I obese sat for 164 minutes a day longer than their lean counterparts, and lean people were standing and active for 153 minutes more than there obese counterparts. This led to the lean people burning an additional 352 calories a day, which is the equivalent of 36.5 grams of fat per year. WOW.
Seems a little bit too good to be true, right? Just be more active and lose a bunch of weight. It may be, but it is a good start. If you’re short on time, or have been inactive for a long period time, I challenge you to find 30 minutes in your day, 7 days a week, to be more physically active. This doesn’t have to be consecutive 30 minutes. You can break this up into three 10-minute blocks or even six 5-minute blocks. It doesn’t matter. Just find time in your day to be active.
Here are some suggestions:
- Walk to church. Too far? Park in the farthest parking space.
- At work, walk during your lunch break, or skip the e-mail and deliver messages in person to co-workers.
- Instead of fast-forwarding through commercials, get up and spend that time moving – interval exercise with no stopwatch needed.
- Pace the sidelines at your kids’ or grandkids’ athletic games. Add some fist pumps for the upper body, too.
- Clean your house. With the blinds closed. And the music playing.
- Listen to audio books from the library as you walk. You may find yourself wanting to go an extra block or two when the plot heats up.
- Put the heavy groceries in your cart first so you push them around longer, and bring your groceries from your car into your house one bag at a time.
- Perform gardening and mow your own grass.
- Take on some easy-to-do home repair projects – especially the ones that follow a search for parts down all the aisles of a big home improvement store.
- Walk your dog. You’ll both be fitter.
This list could go on, but you get the idea. All I ask of you is to find 30 minutes a day for better health. You have nothing to lose (except weight) and everything to gain. Let’s get started.