It’s time to reboot our fitness routine
The topic today is technology. Whether we like it or not, our digital devices are here to stay for many great reasons beyond the obvious of capturing photos, communicating in a few clicks, and accessing information faster than we ever could have imagined in the good old days of encyclopedias. On the downside, though, while our cell phones and laptops may be mobile, they can potentially make us more immobile prompting health concerns about too much sitting and text neck. Of course I had to sit and look at a device to get this information.
Let’s look on the bright side especially since I imagine people might have had similar concerns when the automobile was introduced. There had to be naysayers for one reason or another who didn’t want such advanced technology to change their way of life. Over the years we’ve managed to figure it out and we can do the same with today’s inventions with some simple options as long as we remember to exercise them (pun intended).
James Levine, MD, author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot suggests that we get NEAT which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. That’s a fancy way of telling us to stretch, turn and bend. For every hour of sitting, if we take ten minutes to be NEAT, we are good to go again. Exercise physiologist Fabio Comana, an instructor in San Diego State University claims that if we do it five or six times a day, “ ‘you’ll start to notice a difference.’ ” Another easy tip is to stand while on the phone or working on a project that could be done at a counter rather than a table. Standing uses more muscles and burns more calories than sitting. That’s doable right?
We’ve heard about the importance of walking for years. The latest update is that ten thousand steps a day will keep us fit and healthy. Believe it or not, I’ve actually counted my steps the good old fashioned way and it’s more than a few trips around the block. Still, there are ways to augment this activity. Being aware of the goal is the first step to consciously increase walking and use of the stairs, trampoline or a treadmill. We can incorporate mobility into our social time by joining walking groups and going on what I call “walkie talkies” with friends. Now I would love to share more suggestions with you but my hour is up and I need to practice what I preach. It’s time for some stretching and a good walk. Care to join me?