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Nothing Active Is Insignificant

November 22 - 

Six mile walk-run-walk on a Central American beach with my wife and dog. I mention my activity to keep me on my goals, my location because choosing your heaven on earth keeps me motivated, and my companions as its more fun being active with others.

So now, go find an activity for the next hour. Nothing active is insignificant. A walk around your home, a jog in the park or a game of hoops with your kids. Get going, see you later......

 

There you are! That wasn't so difficult. The truth is the most difficult part is getting motivated to be active. Once you're out there, doing it is fun. Right? So now that you have exercised today are you done for the day? For the week? Not quite. Many studies have demonstrated that in order to make a great difference in your weight and health, exercising at least 5-6 days per week for at least one hour is necessary. Will 3 days and a half hour help? Of course! But we are looking for big results that are sustainable and meaningful.

Now how about the remainder of the day? What the hell are you talking about?!? I just exercised for an hour. Well sorry to break the news to you but the people who are most successful in their quest for a healthy and fit life move all day long. Let's analyze the typical day and break it down to make this more real. We sleep for 8 hours, or maybe 7, but we will throw in an extra hour for personal bedroom pleasures (excellent calorie burner!). Now let's set aside 3 hours for prep and eating meals (more on that later). So, we are left with 13 hours to sneak as much activity into as possible.

Let's start with the morning preparation for work. Can you work in some stretching exercises for ten minutes? Or, perhaps just walking to the end of the driveway to find the newspaper. If you need to shovel your walk this winter, also shovel your neighbors. Not only will she be shocked, but think of the extra exercise you just added. So you see the key here is not what or how you exercise, the important fact is that you WERE ACTIVE!

Well, you managed to get out of the house and are heading to work, so what can you sneak in here? Stairs....walk down two and up one for starters whenever you are presented with them. It's amazing to me how architects hide one of the most calorie burning choices and free activities available to us. Why do we need to purchase an expensive stair machine when we have stairs all around us?

Walking to work, or at least from the far end of the company parking lot, is a wonderful way to give your mind a little time to prepare for the day while you cheat the system for a few more minutes of activity.

Now that you are at work, and possibly exhausted already, do you get to relax behind that comfy work station? No! More studies have proven that you will feel better, experience less musculoskeletal pain and burn more calories if you get out of your chair every hour and move around. Some of my clients use mobile headphones so they aren't tethered to their desks. Some find any excuse to meet with their colleagues standing up or take a walk with an employee outside that you needed to speak with privately.

Lunchtime is another challenge for us activity seekers. We all know there are two big lies about the lunch hour. Firstly, it doesn't take an hour to eat lunch and secondly, no one runs when they say, "I'm going to run a few errands at lunch.” So what we said to our friends in The Bronx was "walk me." Which translated into take a walk and be good company with me. I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to have an activity/exercise companion. I started my blog today describing my beach run with my wife and dog. There is a chance I would not have enjoyed that activity nearly as much without them.

If you have been counting, you have used up approximately 21 hours in your active day and now your heading to that big cushy Lazy Boy chair (correctly named) for a few hours of well deserved inactivity...after walking home from the train station, up the stairs, and around the house a few times preparing for dinner. Can't I just sit down already?!

Well, you can sit down but please not for too long. Those nasty little studies are showing us that there is a direct correlation between the number of hours we spend watching TV and obesity. What's really scary is that children spend the most time in front of the tube (does anyone remember there were tubes in there once?) and their rate of obesity and Type II diabetes is skyrocketing. Just get up every half hour and go be active. Some people have an exercise bike in front of the TV and happily pedal away for an hour.

Ok, you can go to bed now. I'm even tired blogging about your day. However, the last study I will quote today has proven that you will experience more restful and longer sleep when you have had a more active day. Good night. Take a look at what you eat daily so we can discuss that in our next blog.