Are you focusing too much on your training and exercise?
People who move around more often are less likely to suffer from chronic health conditions and obesity. Notice we didn’t say people who train more – it’s more about the simple day to day moving that we do subconsciously.
Apple has added to the Apple Watch a fancy little feature that incentivises you to move, exercise and stand up.
They classify things as:
- Movement = just being in motion in some form. So pretty much everything that isn’t sitting still
- Exercise = moving with a bit more intent. Cleaning your house can even tick this box if you’re moving fast enough, but more traditional exercise like running or yoga also counts.
- Standing = not being sat down or laid down so that your body is resisting gravity.
We are not suggesting that everyone needs to go out and buy an Apple Watch so that they can be healthier, but we are saying that being aware of how much time you spend sitting down vs standing up can be a great introduction to being a bit healthier.
Simply standing up and walking around for 10-20 minutes 3 times a day can add an hour of movement to your daily life (and even the busiest people who are working from home can usually find some time before work, after work and whilst their on an audio-only call to get up and go for a walk!).
Focusing on your exercise can actually short circuit what you’re trying to do as 30 minutes of actively trying to get fitter or stronger often doesn’t have as big an impact as multiple low level bouts of movement throughout the day.
Unfortunately training for 30-45 minutes 4 days a week but spending most of the rest of the week sitting at a computer means that you are nowhere near as active as you think you are.
We’re never going to tell you that exercising is not important, but overall daily activity can be an even more powerful influence on how many calories you burn every day.
Imagine your body as a car. Being less ‘fuel efficient’ by moving around as much as you can means you burn more energy. Being more ‘fuel efficient’ means more of what you eat is likely to be stored (as bodyfat). You may well burn a few hundred calories during a workout but by choosing to sit down less often throughout the day you’ll often end up burning more over the course of the day.
So what can you do?
- Try not to sit still for hours at a time. Stand up as often as possible. One tip we often talk about with desk-based nutrition clients is to drink more water than you think you need, not for the hydration element of it, but for the fact that you’ll definitely get up from your desk to go to the toilet!
- Go out for a walk. Some nutrition clients who are working from home have even started going for a walk before and after work (like a commute!) to help keep them active and help separate work time from leisure time.
- Focus on the small wins. If you’re up and about more than usual and it’s the product of a conscious decision then celebrate that extra connection with your health and fitness.