You are sitting on the couch enjoying your favorite Netflix show when your fitness watch gives you a buzz to stand up. You don’t want to, but you do it anyways because you want to hit your step goal for the day! Are you one of the 1 in 6 people that own a fitness watch in the US?
So what’s the big deal? Why is important that we stand and that we get 10,000 steps per day?
The most obvious answer is that the more active you are the easier it is to perform life’s daily activities with ease. It also helps to rev up your metabolism.
The not so obvious answer is that sitting is terrible for your body! The average person sits about 9 – 12 hours per day. (20 hours if you include sleep!) Sitting for prolonged periods of time creates havoc on your body; it tightens your chest muscles, causes low back pain, tight hip flexors, and even stiffness in your feet and ankles.
What can you do about it?
If you have a sedentary job, make sure you incorporate standing into your daily routine. For example, when you are talking on the phone, stand up and walk around. Set a reminder on your computer or download an app that will remind you to stand up and move your body every 60-90 minutes. If you spend a lot of time in your car, purposely park in the furthest parking spot from the door. This gives you an opportunity to get closer to those daily step goals.
When you STAND UP, here are three exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime:
Standing Calf Raises
Stand up tall, pull your belly button in and with straight legs lift your heels off the floor, then lower them with control. Do 20 repetitions. Repeat 2-3 times with 30 seconds of rest in between.
Standing Leg Kick-Backs
Stand up tall and gently hold on to a wall or desk for balance, if needed. Lift one leg off the ground, keeping your leg straight, kick your leg back while squeezing your gluteus maximus. Do 15 repetitions on each leg. Repeat 2-3 times.
Standing up tall, reaching the crown of your head to the ceiling, pull your shoulder blades, scapula, together, like you are trying to crack an egg between your shoulder blades. Pull your scapulas together and hold for 5 seconds. Do 15 repetitions and repeat 2-3 times.
These are simple exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to strengthen your body while counteracting the negative side effects of sitting.
Feel better, stand up, and MOVE!