Move more often and sit down less

‘Move more often and sit down less’ is one of the key messages for boosting our physical activity levels to maintain optimal health and independence. It is also a great release for stress and tension that may accumulate in our body.

So, if you would you like to make ‘move more often and sit down less’ one of your goals? then i invite you to read on and also visit the links to other websites I share.

Remember:

Be kind to yourself! Small steps to move more often and sit down less are all steps in a progressive direction. Every little helps and every minute of standing and moving counts, it is all movement and this makes a big difference!

Tool 34 – Move your body

Movement of the body is essential to maintain mobility and independence and there are many other benefits of being more active. It also helps to release (discharge) any physical tension that accumulates in the body and offers a recharge for our energy levels and mental well-being. Sitting down too much can be a risk to our health and well-being.

The recommended levels of physical activity for adults and older adults are outlined in the following infographic.

Physical activity guidelines

Other NHS guidelines can be found here

Modern lifestyles and use of technological gadgets (cars, washing machines, dish washers, elevators, escalators etc.) have removed many of the naturally occurring opportunities for movement that our ancestors knew. I remember that my Nan used a mangle (remember those?) to wring out clothes before putting them out to dry!

So how can we be more active?

As a starter, there are activities of daily living (ADLs), these include:

  • Gardening
  • Housework (every activity counts)
  • Climbing stairs
  • D.I.Y
  • Cleaning the car.

We can also participate in leisure activities (some of these may need to be via online sources at the moment)

  • Going out walking
  • Qigong (I am currently teaching these classes online, so please contact me if you are interested)
  • Pilates
  • Swimming or aqua classes (when the pools reopen)
  • Yoga

And of course, there are the many sports and games (when the leisure services reopen), such as:

  • Badminton
  • Netball
  • Cricket
  • Gymnastics
Activity:
  • Make a list of some of the things you could do to move more often and sit down less.
    • When you are waiting for the kettle to boil could  you practice some Qigong or march on the spot (these are moving, not sitting!)
    • Maybe you could set the alarm on your phone to ring every hour to remind you to take a break from the desk or the easel (for the artists here).
  • Make a commitment and set some achievable goals, e.g. Monday i will attend qigong (or another class) online; Tuesday i will go for a walk for 30 minutes. See if you can work towards building a planned activity in to every day.
  • Get an ‘activity buddy’. This may sound daft, but today i was inspired to do a little extra movement after speaking with a friend.
  • Think about your hobbies – are any of these active?
  • Are there any more active hobbies you may like to experiment with to see which you enjoy? Make a note of these.

As some of you may know, as well as teaching classes (currently online) I am a also writer and I have published 13 books with Bloomsbury publishing, all about exercise or exercise and mental health. More information about my books is available from my website on my books page. These are available from Amazon.

Another idea – check out ‘Make Movement Your Mission’ who deliver daily ‘movement snacks‘ on Facebook (at 8am, 12 noon and 4pm). A great way to break up periods of sitting and all the activities are linked to functional movements we need for daily living!

I will leave you with this:

Count the minutes of standing and moving throughout the day! Every minute of standing and moving is a minute of not sitting!

You can do this! One minute at a time. 

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