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The Sweat Life | Monday, February 13th, 2017

Our bodies evolved over millions of years to enable us to stand upright, and to move more efficiently. For generations, our environments demanded physical activity in order for us to prosper. While the majority of the inventions over the last 50+ years have made our lives easier and seemingly more productive, they have also caused us to lead more sedentary lives. Instead of movement happening without us having to think about it, we now have to plan times to simply get up and move. I’m not just referring to scheduling workouts, but planning moments to step away from your desk, computer, mobile device, car etc. to shake off the stillness.

There are many obvious side effects of lack of movement — obesity, heart disease, diabetes, slow metabolic rate, reduced circulation, and depression (less blood flow means fewer “feel good” hormones reaching your brain). A few are perhaps less obvious — poor posture and spine health. When you spend extended periods of time sitting, your hamstrings shorten and tighten and the muscles supporting your spine become weak and stuff.

The benefits to moving are countless and can reverse the majority of the side effects listed above. Like magic, moving turns your fat burners on, lubricates your joints and muscles, improves your mood, awakens your senses, and in grander terms, improves the quality of your life. 

Here are a couple tips to make a move during your work day:

1. Make a commitment to stand up and energize every half hour

Your body will tell you the second you get up, that it needed to move.  A few steps into your designated “movement moment,” the stiffness your body was feeling will dissipate

2. Take phone calls and whenever possible read emails while practicing some form of movement

I’m not suggesting walking and reading emails, however, truth-be-told, I bought an Arc Trainer elliptical for our home so I would have the option of talking or reading while moving. I have no shame in telling the person on the other end of my call, “If you hear me breathing heavy it’s not something you said, I’m on my elliptical.” And 99% of the time their response is, “Love it, talk and do… you’ve inspired me to get up.”

3. Take the long road

Take the stairs, park further away from the office, go out and get your own lunch, coffee, smoothie etc. Take advantage of every opportunity that may arise during your day to move.

Now, let’s take it a step further and talk in terms of exercise — being made to move and be challenged. The fitness industry is a five billion dollar industry that has grown to offer an abundance of movement options. But sometimes the more options you have, the harder it is to make a decision about what type of exercise is right for you. 

Put simply, “A body at rest stays at rest” (and never grows)… “A body in motion, stays in motion” (and flourishes… gets stronger, better and ACHIEVES GREATNESS).

Written by Kira Stokes, celebrity personal trainer with over 18 years of experience. Kira is a contributor for The Sweat Life- check out her original post here.