This just in: Even “active” people can be sedentary. Yes, even if you Zumba, Cross Fit, Run, Walk, Lift Weights, do Yoga, etc, but you then sit the rest of the day, then you are considered sedentary. You might even be very fit, but you are still sedentary if your life outside of your workout time involves hours upon hours of sitting.
When it comes to moving enough to offset the unhealthy effects of sitting, active and inactive people alike are on a level playing field.
For all of us, sitting for long periods of time is:
- as bad for us as smoking
- can double our risk of dying by any cause
- increases our risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease
Clearly, God did not intend for us to sit around – the way He designed our bodies indicates this. We are made to move and our bodies reward us for it.
Since everybody needs to get up and move every hour or so, I wanted offer some ideas to help you get started. Please take these ideas and modify them to suit yourself.
Here is how I break-up the inactive hours of my day:
- I set my iPhone alarm to ring at the same time every hour from 9:45 AM, 10:45 AM, etc all the way to 5:45PM.
- When the alarm sounds, I take a 3 minute break. I set my phone’s timer for three minutes, and I pace up and down the hall until the timer rings.
- While pacing, sometimes I play a song from my iTunes playlist, which turns my pacing into dancing up and down the hall. It’s not pretty, but it is fun. And amusing.
My three minutes of pacing/dancing will give me at least 250 steps, a minimum recommended level of activity for each hour, according to my Fitbit. If I do this each hour that my alarm is set to ring, I get an extra 27 minutes a day of moderate walking (and uncoordinated dancing.) If I repeat this routine at least six days a week, that makes for 162 minutes of pacing/dancing, and meets the CDC recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week.
The beauty of this little plan is that it can be done indoors. You won’t need equipment, or even a lot of space. It will get you up and moving just enough each hour to prevent the unhealthy and cumulative effects of being sedentary. These studies (linked below) show it can add two years to your life.
Lately, rather than moving to music, I use those 3 minutes to pray. I speak (often out loud) to the Lord about whatever He has placed on my heart in that moment.
Try it out, or your own adaptation of this plan for seven days. Then go for seven more, then seven more. Take the time and make it part of your new routine. Even if you don’t hit your goal each day, just press on.
Your life is precious to God. It is precious to those who love you. God has plans for you that you will live out in your body. Move it for Him!
Sneak Preview: My next post will address a question I get from time to time – “how much exercise do I really need to lose weight?”
Links to Studies cited: