According to James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Arizona State University, excess sitting is now linked to 35 diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression. In fact, governments such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have identified sedentary life as a catastrophe.
Being sedentary has become "normal". We no longer need to move. The digital age is prematurely aging us. Many of us sit at desks, tap on keyboards and click a mouse for most of the day. There's no longer a need to connect mind and body because most jobs don't need us to use our bodies and so the body becomes defunct. The only time we notice it is when something starts to go wrong. And then what do we do? Head for the gym. Start practicing exercise regimes on machines, in an isolated environment, three times a week.
Now, any type of exercise is going to be beneficial. Running on a treadmill or doing a strength training class are both good for you. They won't, however, counter the negative effects of sitting still for the other 15 hours you’re awake. However, there are simple ways to include constant movement throughout your day.
5 ways to incorporate movement into your day
Sit on the floor
Have you noticed how often you have to adjust your position when you’re sitting on the floor? Try sitting on the floor instead of the sofa when watching TV or even during mealtimes and use your muscles to keep you sitting upright.
Go for more walks
Get out at lunchtime and go for a stroll. Instead of meeting friends in a coffee shop, grab one to go and walk and chat at the same time. Who says you need to hold a meeting in the office? Take work outside and walk and talk.
Squat in the kitchen
Use the kitchen or drawers at home as a reason to squat down. Store those things you use most often in a bottom drawer or cupboard and squat down to get them. Don't bend or hunch over, do a real squat!
Go barefoot to use those muscles along the bottom of your feet more. And while you're at it, stretch those toes and calves at the same time.
Take up an exercise that works both your mind and your body
Exercise such as the GYROTONIC® method is all about movement. It links movement with breathing and works to increase the natural flexibility of the spine, whilst strengthening and stretching the musculature. It's one exercise system which truly links the head with the body, addressing body, mind and emotions. The movements promote a tremendous sense of wellbeing, delivering increased energy, greater mind-body awareness, long and lean muscles, improved posture and a stronger core.
“Once people are up and moving, they never go back,” says Dr. Levine. “This is a fundamental shift in how we function, but health gets better with movement, productivity gets better, and people enjoy their jobs — and lives — more.”
Whether you’re just starting your movement journey or love exercise and want to try something new, why not see if The Gyrotonic Method could work for you?
Hayley Oxley creates personalised sessions tailored to each client with one-to-one session working towards your own goals.