80% of people failed to meet the guidelines. Now that’s an interesting statistic. That’s also a lot of people! Talk to people around you and most of them probably know they don’t exercise enough, they know they should do more and they know that it’s not healthy to be sedentary. However, things don’t change. The same behaviour continues for years and years. The big question is ‘WHY?’.
Just before we go into our thoughts on why, here’s a little extract from the story taken directly from their website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23518037):
“It found about 8% of adults who were physically able to walk had not walked for even five minutes continuously during a four-week period, while 46% had not walked for leisure for more than 30 minutes continuously.”
Some more interesting statistics there; enough to show that something needs to change. We don’t think that changing guidelines is going to make a difference, what we think needs to happen is a shift in thinking. We believe that the problem right now is conventional wisdom tells people that to have any effect they need to work hard, do lots of activity and that the activity is pretty boring (pounding the treadmill).
Well, we’re here today to tell you that’s not the case!
We need to get away from seeing exercise as just another chore, or it will continue to be treated like one (put off until we absolutely have to do it). We need get the image of gym work being the only ‘good’ exercise out of our heads as it can be intimidating and tough to get motivated for.
Our suggestion is to incorporate exercise into your other chores / activities so by the time they are completed you’ve already moved your body in a way that complements your health. Try some of these examples:
- Every time you go to sit down, or stand up from sitting do 10 squats or lunges (this could be getting in and out of your chair at work or home or getting in and out of your car etc…)
- Going up or down some stairs? Do it twice, do it 2 steps at a time, do it hopping, do it ‘2 steps forward, 1step backwards’
- Once you’ve been sat for an hour get up (do your 10 squats) and walk around your desk / sofa / room for 30 seconds
- Washing up? Do it standing on one leg.
- Doing the laundry? Lift the laundry basket over your head a couple of times.
- Laying in bed? Do a couple of press ups.
- Playing with your kids? Keep playing!
- Watching TV or playing video games? Do it standing up, hopping or on one leg.
- Doing your grocery shopping? Use a basket or 2 rather than a trolley, everything you put in your trolley / basket you have to lift overhead first.
- Going between rooms in your house? Crawl!
These are just a few ideas that’ll get you moving a little more without you really realising it. Worried about what people think? Make it a game and get your whole family or office involved.
Give these a go for a week and see how different you feel – we bet there will be the world of difference!