The growing research confirms that sitting all day is TERRIBLE for your health. While you sit at your computer, tv, or in your car for hours upon hours a day, small changes within your body start to take shape. The blood begins to pool in your extremities which means nutrients and oxygen are not getting distributed properly. As a result, your energy and alertness levels decline. Your body does not have the metabolic rate that it does when standing or moving; thus, your waist line (or hips, thighs….) increase. Blood sugar, triglyceride, and low-density lipoproteins (that is the bad cholesterol) have been shown to be higher in those that sit more hours per day. And if this was not enough, even if you bust it with 30 minutes or more of exercise per day, sitting for the majority of the day will COMPLETELY negate your workout. Talk about a BUMMER!
The good news is that only 3 – 5 minutes can combat 55 minutes of siting. So…. Here is the start to a weekly challenge that you can incorporate into your daily work, home routine!
This week we are starting from the ground up and working on those calves, dancer style. First, stand up with feet hips width distance. If you are able to do this barefoot, go for it. This will allow for greater range of motion. Go through the 1st minute with raising on the balls of your feet, one foot at a time. The next minute raise both heels at the same time. Repeat this pattern with toes turned out and heels touching.
1 minute: Parallel Prances (One foot at a time)
1 minute: Parallel Heel Raises
1 minute: Turned Out Prances (One foot at a time)
1 minute: Turned Out Raises
You can remember to do this the last five minutes of every hour or when you finish certain task. Try and complete this 1 – 2 times per day this week. Wait… you ask what do I do the rest of the 3 – 5 minutes each hour I am sitting? YOU SIMPLY STAND. Nothing else.
Of course, calf raises a couple times a day will not be the end all be all… so the overarching and ONGOING challenge is to stand or move more than you sit. Simple as that! Right? Right. (Hey, there is always a bigger goal!)