We sit down way too much, the evidence is clearer than ever. Many of us spend up to 70% of our time awake sitting, and this way of living is actually detrimental to our health as it increases the likelihood of us getting a variety of diseases. Not only that, our habit of sitting down is lowering our quality of life, because that’s what chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders does to us.
Chances are you’re sitting there glued to a chair at the very moment you’re reading this…
OK… STOP! Let’s hit the brakes here. You’ve heard it all before, a million times. Instead of throwing facts in your face, it’s time for action! I’ll tell you exactly what you can do to ramp up your activity level, feel better and get tons of other surprising side effects.
You can get up now and nothing is ruined, nothing is lost. We all have busy schedules and we’re doing our best to work with the time we have available. So first we need to figure out if we actually have time available to make a shift in our lifestyle.
To shift from sedentary lifestyle (mostly sitting down) to a moderately active lifestyle (basically means just walking more) you can make a bunch of deliberate choices during the day:
As you can see, none of these things are at all tricky, the tricky part is breaking your old habits. As a start I encourage you to be really detailed, almost silly about this and set reminders for every single thing you want to do.
Next, shifting from a moderately active lifestyle and actually start exercising and have a more active lifestyle is a bigger step. To do this we need to be even clearer with what time we actually have available. For most of us that means early mornings, late evenings and possibly lunch time. I bet your morning routine is the last thing you want to mess with but there are a million reasons to give it a try. Read on about the clear effects of a good morning routine:
1. MOOD – I understand that you might be sceptical about this, but exercising in the morning is one of the best ways to get a good boost of happiness. There are many reasons for this; the physical effects like hormonal responses and getting the blood flowing, and the feeling of accomplishment early on in the day. Check it off!
2. SLEEP – Exercising in the morning will give you a lot more energy throughout the day but as it gets closer to bedtime you’ll experience a pleasant physical tiredness. This will help you go to bed at more reasonable time as it gets easier to fall asleep. So wake up early, kick some ass and get a better sleeping schedule as a great side effect.
3. BETTER RESULTS – The quality of your workout is likely to be a lot higher in the morning than in the afternoon for the sole reason that you won’t feel as sluggish as you do after a whole day at work.
4. BYE BYE COFFEE – You’re no longer gonna feel like you desperately need that coffee to get your day started. High intensity exercise in the morning will spike your energy enough.
5. ADVANTAGE – Hormones like testosterone that are responsible for building a strong, healthy body (which is what you’re striving for, right?) spike in the morning. So choosing to workout in the morning is a great way to work with your body’s natural mechanisms. Your body wants the same thing you do.
6. MORE QUALITY TIME – The feeling of being “done” with the day already after work. No gym that you ‘have to’ head to. If you’ve also managed to prepare some meals in advance for the week you’re free to spend hours with friends and family, or lo and behold, maybe even a little time for yourself. What’s more valuable than that?
7. NO EXERCISE SKIPPING – Do it in the morning and you have it crossed off your to-do list already. No obstacles or lack of motivation can shake you, you have it done!
8. THE “AFTER BURN” – Any morning session, whether you’re hitting the the trails, a leg session at the gym or just in your own backyard with a bench and a few rocks as equipment will boost your body and your metabolism for the rest of the day. Keeping this in mind increases the feeling of accomplishment.
But probably the best reason, you’re allowed to humblebrag to your colleagues.
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