While May 1st might mark the start of National Physical Fitness & Sports month, it shouldn’t be the only time of year to focus on the importance of living an active lifestyle.
For the office workers – Having a desk job isn’t the most ideal when it comes to staying mobile. Depending on your commute, you’re probably sitting in the car on your way into work, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day (or possibly even more) and then sitting in the car on the way back home – that’s a whole lot of sedentariness!
But don’t go thinking you should quit your day job just yet. The good news is that there are ways to help keep your body active even with a job that normally consists of a whole lot of sitting.
A great start is simply reminding yourself to get up and move around at least once every hour. Although some studies suggest once every 20 minutes, and others swear by once every 30 minutes, some hectic job schedules may prevent that from happening.
Try setting a reminder to get up and take a quick lap around the office, grab some water or coffee from the break room, or deliver paperwork to another department instead of having mailroom staff pick it up – anything to help get those feet moving!
!! Health Tip: While jumping jacks and squats at your desk may not be the most ideal form of fitness during work hours, you can start by doing the little things. Walk over to someone’s desk instead of emailing or calling them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Convince colleagues to take meetings outside and get a walk in while discussing your ideas.
For the students – Long hours sitting in class after class, mixed with countless hours spent studying, working on projects, and writing essays can make it seem nearly impossible to find the time to work out, but here’s the secret – you can get mini workouts done without much effort at all!
Making time for exercise, even if it’s a quick 30 minutes before hitting the books, can help improve mood and sleep, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.1
!! Health Tip: Instead of perusing the parking lot looking for a spot near your class building, park on the opposite side of campus (or at least further away than you normally would) and get in some extra steps on your way to class. In fact, walk whenever possible! Getting lunch with friends? Find a local spot within walking distance and swap out hopping in the car for some extra fresh air and movement instead.
For the adolescents – Be a positive influence on your kids by engaging in an active lifestyle that they would want to imitate. Setting good habits early on can help children develop healthy lifestyles later in life. Encourage your kids to stay active by signing them up for a sports league, having them join you at the gym*, or swap out an hour of time spent in front of a screen for outdoor time after school.
For the seniors – Did you know that engaging in physical activities like balance and muscle-strengthening activities can help lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive function in aging adults?2
If you’ve thought it’s too late to start a new fitness routine, we promise you that it isn’t. Find an activity that you enjoy and start there!
For everyone in between – Staying active doesn’t mean you have to be at the gym 24/7 (although we’d never veto extra hours spent at City Sports Club). Staying active can be as simple as having the family to take a walk together after dinner, playing around with your kids more, taking your dog for a walk, or getting a plank or pushups done in the morning before work.
The whole point is to keep your body moving as much as possible and as often as possible to help lessen your chances of developing health issues further down the line.
Convince Me Why This is Necessary
Besides lowering the risk of many diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression3, physical activity can help increase the body’s natural energy, build overall strength, and promote a sense of happiness. Not to mention, exercising can help increase confidence – who wouldn’t want that?
If you need some motivation? We’re happy to help. Click here to view our members’ successes.
*Must be 14 years or older and accompanied by a parent to be eligible to work out at City Sports Club.
- “The Benefits of Exercise for Students.” Exercise Right, 24 May 2017, exerciseright.com.au/exercise-on-a-budget/.
- “Physical Activity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Feb. 2018, cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm.
- “Physical Activity and Your Heart.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/physical-activity-and-your-heart.