Six Simple Ways To Sit Less And Move More

Sit Less

Many people have been taught or led to believe that the only way to get exercise is through scheduled exercise sessions. This can be a little discouraging for people that struggle with finding enough time to dedicate to an exercise routine.  Fortunately, exercise doesn’t need to be formal for it to benefit you.

It’s no secret that formal exercise is a great way to get your body moving.  However, there are many ways to move more and sit less throughout your day without having to go to the gym. One of the best ways to keep your body moving throughout the day is to incorporate movement into your daily life and responsibilities. The technical term for this type of movement is non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or N.E.A.T.

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis includes the physical activity you perform outside of exercise, eating and sleeping. There are many N.E.A.T. activities that we already do that can count as exercise.  Simple tasks such as raking leaves, physical labor, climbing stairs, and even fidgeting help us use our muscles and burn calories. These types of activity can help contribute to your overall health long term.

Research suggests that people who move throughout the day are more likely to reach and/or maintain their fitness goals versus those who sit throughout the day and then hit the gym for one exercise session.  This doesn’t mean that you should give up on your exercise sessions.  What it tells us is that the more we move throughout the day the better it is for us.

Most people spend the majority of their day at work. One way to move more and sit less is to incorporate non-exercise movement into your workday. Farming, construction and housekeeping trades are good examples of high N.E.A.T. jobs because they require quite a bit of movement. On the other hand, desk jobs usually require quite a bit of sitting.  So how can you increase your N.E.A.T. during the workday? Here are some simple ways to incorporate more movement into your day:

Consider using your car less. If it’s possible, walk or bike to work instead of driving.  The extra activity can boost your mood while allowing you to breathe the fresh air.

Schedule walking meetings. Take your business outdoors and boost your team’s creativity with a walking meeting. Walking is an effective way to expend energy, stimulate the brain, and connect with the rest of your team.

Stand up and take breaks. Give your eyes and body a break from the computer screen by doing things like filling up your water bottle, taking out your own trash and/or recycling, or checking in with your coworkers. This gives you a reason to get up and get some movement.

Take the stairs. This is an oldie but a goodie. Skip the elevator and take the stairs to keep your body moving throughout your day.

Stand instead of sit. Adjustable desks are becoming more popular in the workplace.  My husband uses his standing desk for most of his workday.  If these desks are not available to you, raise your work and/or devices to a podium or counter so you can stand periodically throughout your day.  Resting heart rate is higher while standing so a standing work station offers more physical activity.

If you’re finding it difficult to get up from your desk while you are working, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate movement into your day.  Other examples of non exercise activity would be:

  • Playing with your kids
  • Doing yard work
  • Grocery shopping
  • Walking your dog
  • Cleaning the house
  • Running errands without your car

If you’d like to sit less and move more, think of one or two ideas that you can start with to weave movement into your day or week.

Accumulated physical activity throughout the week can add up and as a result contribute positively to your health and wellness.  Every little bit counts!

Make it a great and active week!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Simple Self Massage That Helps Release Tight Lower Body Muscles

Simple Self Massage That Helps Release Tight Lower Body Muscles

When it comes to being physically fit, massage may not be the first thing on your list of to do’s. Oftentimes, when one hears the word massage, a luxurious experience in a fancy spa comes to mind. You probably know it’s good for relieving stress levels but may be wondering how it contributes to helping you fit into your jeans.

There are three main components to physical fitness. They are strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. All three are equally important and work together to help your body move more efficiently, prevent injury, and burn calories optimally. Tight muscles can pull on joints which can lead to pain and/or injury. Once a body is suffering from pain or an injury, it can be difficult to follow through with an exercise routine, normal lifestyle activities, and in some cases even work responsibilities.

Over the years, the fitness industry has come to realize that one of the best ways to maintain flexibility and release tight muscles is to learn the practice of self-massage using tools like foam rollers and tennis balls. Massage, also know as release work or trigger point therapy, has proven to be more effective than stretching when it comes to releasing tight muscles and improving the body’s range of motion for the long term.

SELF-MASSAGE

Since massage is really more of a necessity  than a luxury, I recommend learning self-massage. When you know how to release tight muscles on your own, it allows you to have unlimited access to massage without taxing your schedule or budget. Even a few minutes a day can make a BIG difference when it comes to improving range of motion and relieving stress (which also helps with weight loss).

In today’s video, I demonstrate how to use a foam roller to massage and release some of the most common areas that can get tight in the lower body.  I also demonstrate some stretches for hamstrings and hip flexors at the end so make sure to watch the whole video.  I’ve also included some links below to help you purchase a roller of your own if you don’t already own one and a book that I recommend to all of my private coaching clients. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is inexpensive and walks you through step-by-step self-massage in a way that’s easy to understand. Foam rollers are a low cost investment that are worth every penny.

Enjoy the video and here’s to being fit and feeling good!

Shared with Love,
Jennifer

Click here to see FOAM ROLLERS

Seven Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Seven Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System - shutterstock_220442575

Nobody likes being sick.  Besides feeling crummy,  being under the weather can interrupt every aspect of your life.

One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to boost your immune system.

The words immune boosting have been used so often for mass marketing that it’s hard to know what really works.  While it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll never catch a cold or the flu, there are some simple steps you can take to boost your immune system and dodge as many bugs that come your way as possible. The tips I’m sharing below are my own personal immune boosting secrets. My clients can vouch for me when I tell you it’s very rare for me to even catch a cold so they’re more than just a theory.  🙂

HERE ARE SOME PROVEN TIPS TO BUILD YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

1) Vitamin D. Researchers believe that one of the reasons we catch colds during the winter months is a lack of Vitamin D. Make sure you are getting outside when the weather allows. Ask your doctor to check your Vitamin D levels. Your doctor may recommend that you take a Vitamin D supplement to help boost your immune system.

2) Eat immune boosting foods. Foods like broccoli, almonds, cabbage, beef, garlic, spinach, sweet potatoes, button mushrooms, chicken soup, shellfish, yoghurt, oats and barley, acai berry, elderberry, and grapefruit are all considered to be immune boosting foods.  Do your best to incorporate immune boosting foods into your daily diet. Look for recipes that include them and get creative with snack choices.

Variety is important when choosing foods for their nutritional value. Each food offers its own unique benefit.  Avoid buying into the marketing hype around one magic food that can do it all.  It simply doesn’t exist.

3) Get enough sleep. Per WebMD, the average adult needs 7 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds, flu, and other more serious illnesses.

4) Exercise. Moderate exercise is proven to boost the immune system.  However, high intensity exercise can temporarily lower your immune system.  Make sure you are allowing yourself forty eight hours of rest between high intensity routines and if your energy seems a bit low, it’s best to stick to moderate activity and get some rest.

Studies have also shown that thirty minutes of moderate exercise can help improve your sleep as well.  Bonus!

5) Hit the coffee shop. Coffee and tea are both rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that they can fight off illnesses when consumed in moderation.  Too much caffeine can interrupt sleep and cause your body more harm than good. It seems that some people metabolize caffeine quicker than others. If you know it keeps you up at night, you may want to limit consumption to the morning hours.

6)  Laugh more.  Researchers have found that laughter is good medicine.  Studies show that it can actually decrease stress hormones and increase certain immune cells while activating others.  In a study conducted at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, healthy adults who watched a funny video for an hour showed significant increases in immune system activity.

Watch funny movies, take a moment to watch silly videos on social media, spend time with people that like to laugh with you, and do your best to see the comedy in life’s day to day activities.

7)  Look on the bright side.  Studies show that optimists who look to the brighter side of life have less stress which results in better health.   A classic UCLA study found that law students who began their first semester optimistic about the experience had more helper T cells mid semester, which can amplify the immune response, and more powerful natural killer cells, than students who had a more pessimistic perspective.

Start each day with an attitude of gratitude.  No matter what we are facing in life, we can all find at least one thing to be grateful for each day.  Even if it is simply waking up to a new day.

Boosting your immune system doesn’t have to be a chore.  Focus on the things you can incorporate into your day.  A little bit goes a long way!

Here’s to avoiding the cold and flu aisle this year!

With love,
Jennifer