Take a chill pill, sit outside, and enjoy the sunshine. Take a seat and relax. These are the phrases we hear from our family members, our friends, our coworkers, and possibly, even our children. However, science has discovered a reason to instead, get up from your chair.
It was found that not only can having a sedentary lifestyle affect your body, but it can also affect your mind! “In a recent review of studies, Australian researchers found evidence of a link between emotional stress and sitting. That is, the more sedentary someone was, the more likely he or she was to feel anxious.”
In today’s world, our lifestyles are built at a desk, a computer, and a chair. Rarely do you see someone standing and typing at their desk, for we work on the computer for a majority of our day. However, a connection between anxiety and sitting is something to note.
In addition, the screen time can interrupt sleep by keeping the nervous system aroused, which can ultimately lead to more stress if we are sleep deprived. Add the fact that the decrease of socialization with a living, breathing human and an increase in your relationship with the computer will lead to the feeling of social withdrawal, which also drives anxiety.
So how do we escape from this constant cycle of computers taking over our world?
Now, you may have cringed at the word because of what the media has transformed exercise to be. Exercise is not intimidating, is not scary, and as far as we know, there is no exercise police that will come arrest you if you are not doing exactly as is told. Exercise can be fun if you do what is fun for you!
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults engage ina minimum of 2 ½ hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week. Sound intimidating? Let’s simplify it.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activities: Walking (3 ½ miles/hour), water aerobics, bicycling (less than 10 mph/hour), tennis, and dancing. Can you name any other activity you love to do? Most likely they will fit into this category.
Examples of vigorous-intensity activities: Race-walking (4½ mph), Jogging, running (5 mph), Swimming laps, Bicycling (faster than 10 mph), Tennis (singles), Aerobics. Basically, it is any activity that you love, but increasing the oomph behind the movement and challenging yourself a little more than you would, increasing your speed.
Where do I begin? Sometimes, we just don’t know where to start, and this can become overwhelming. Define a starting point. Create a concrete and measureable goal, and be realistic. Start with small goals, such as 5-10 minutes per day doing an activity you love. Increase your activity by 10 minutes each week when you feel ready. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Look at your schedule and choose a time that is convenient for you. Most importantly, choose an activity that you look forward to. You are unique, and your activity will be too. Find what works for you!
Always remember, as you begin your journey into fitness as the warm weather emerges itself (a little later than usual this year!), remember that nutrition is FUNDAMENTAL to your journey to health. Nutrition dictates what your results will be from physical activity, and is what will determine if you achieve your goals. Use the MyPlate published by the USDA to see how your plate should look. Consider working with a Registered Dietitian here at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition to help design a personalized nutrition plan that works for you!
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501