Hi LAB readers! I’m Amber, lover of peanut butter and anything pink! A diagnosis of severe IBS and celiac disease doesn’t hold me back from enjoying food that’s delicious and nutritious, which is why I started my blog Eats and Exercise by Amber. On my blog I show that people with dietary limitations can still eat deliciously with a little creativity! In addition to my love of food and fitness, I’m passionate about the promotion of positive body image. I believe in order to be healthy you must first be happy, which comes from self love. I hope that you enjoy my post today!
You’re sitting at your desk, whether it be at work or home, and you feel completely drained. As if sitting at your computer or even standing for the duration of your work day was equivalent to an intense sweat session at the gym. This happens to me all the time and I am left feeling lethargic and unmotivated – both my brain and my body. This is especially true in the wintertime because the weather and lack of sunshine can leave you feeling rather sluggish!
The cure to combat this fatigue (also known as the mid-day slump)? GET UP, STRETCH, AND MOVE! Whether you want to or not, I promise it will work AND is good for you!
Known as NEAT, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, a fancy term for the calories burned through non-exercise activities such as walking, taking the stairs, or standing while on the phone as opposed to sitting. Current research at the Mayo Clinic has found that by simply getting off your butt and moving around more, you can burn up to an additional 800 calories a day! Extra calorie burn is great, but the real benefit is that you’re saving your life by simply getting up and moving.
Results from studies done by the American Cancer Society showed that sitting for extended periods of time can shorten your life, even if you exercise! EEK! Scary right? Even more motivation to get off your butt and get moving whenever you can throughout the day! Read more about the study here or this CNN published article which is a bit easier to understand.
GET UP! Close your eye, take a few deep breaths, raise your arms on the inhale, and lower them on the exhale. Feel awkward doing this in front of your coworkers or peers? Then (as silly as it sounds) try it out the next time you use to the restroom. It’s amazing how much of a difference some deep breathing can make – it wakes up your brain! Plus, you’ll get in some extra movement when you walk to the bathroom.
Got time and room for a little something extra? STRETCH! Stretching feels good and sends blood flow to your brain and muscles. It also helps your body to wake up! When I’m walking up and down the stairs at school, I always do a quick hamstring stretch on my way up (if the hallways are empty). And if you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, it’s especially important to remember to stretch your shoulders and neck.
Most importantly, MOVE! Move as much as you can. Here are a few suggestions, but I encourage you to get creative because the possibilities are endless.
- Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator and/or escalator
- Use a copier, water fountain, or restroom, that’s farther away from your desk
- Take a lap around the office or school before stopping by the break room or bathroom
- Park your car farther away from the entrance
- Sneak in some squats
- Stand instead of sitting while talking on the phone
- Do calf raises or leg raises while waiting for copies to print
- Have a 60 second dance party
Warning: All of this movement may cause increased happiness and infect those around you!
Thanks Amber for taking the time to guest post and sharing this important information! As a teacher, I spend a majority of my day on my feet, but when I worked in the event industry I spent most of the day sitting at a desk. I frequently went for a walk during my lunch break, but didn’t move much otherwise – when there’s work to be done I want to get it done as quickly as possible! Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, using a bathroom/water fountain on another floor, or going for a walk during your lunch break are all small things but they quickly add up!
Question: What’s your favorite way to move during the work day?
Question: Do you use a sitting or standing desk?