How much time do you spend sitting every day?
By now you’ve probably heard the studies linking sitting to a whole slew of health problems, including heart disease and other nasty stuff.
And that’s not all: too much sitting makes your waistline bigger and makes you wonder why all your pants feel as if they shrunk in the dryer.
You don’t just burn fewer calories than standing or walking around, but enzymes in your body that burn fat stop doing their thing after about 30 or so minutes of not moving.
I’ve become more aware of this now than ever because when I worked as a trainer I never sat down. I ran from house to house working with clients and spent little time at a desk. That’s no longer the case. Now I spend most of my time in front of my computer.
Don’t Miss Read This Fat Burning Techiques:
My morning workouts aren’t enough to reverse the negative effects if I sat all day.
So here are a bunch of tricks I do (in addition to my workouts) to keep those fat-burning enzymes humming. These may also work for you:
• Stand up when the phone rings and walk around for the length of the phone call
• Try a stand-up desk at least part of the time. (I bought one at Staples for around $70 but it’s not helpful when you work off two monitors, as I do.) Walking desks work, too, but they’re expensive and you need a lot of space. If you can find one at a good bargain it’s definitely worth a shot.
• Drink lot of water. Keep a bottle of water on your desk, which accomplishes two things: keeps you hydrated and forces you to get up and use the restroom regularly
• Take mini breaks every 30 to 60 minutes (max!) and do a few bodyweight squats, or pushups against your desk•anything to get muscles moving (since I work at home I also play with my cat, but I realize that may not be possible in an office situation :))
• Stand up and place both hands on your lower back, fingers pointing down, as if putting your hands in your back pockets; look up, squeeze shoulder blades together and feel all those hunched-forward muscles reversing themselves
• Practice isometrics while you sit. This isn’t as effective as actually getting up and moving, but it’s better than allowing your muscles to stagnate
• Contract your abs as if you’re about to be tickled; hold a few seconds and release. Repeat 10 or so times
• Do Kegels. These tighten up your pelvic floor and are an often neglected part of your core muscles you should do with any abdominal work; squeeze and hold for a few seconds; repeat 15x
• Squeeze your shoulder blades together and look up at the ceiling
• Stand with your back against a wall (you can do this while on the phone) and slide down into a wall squat: legs at a right angle with knees directly over your ankles; and hold for as long as you can by contracting your thighs and glutes
• This one’s great for posture: Stand against the wall and bring your arms out into a goal post formation, elbows at shoulder height, fingers pointed towards the ceiling. Slowly, and without allowing your elbows to pull away from the wall, bring both arms up and together until your fingertips touch. Don’t worry if you can’t do this right away•it’s a toughie, especially if your posture is less than perfect (me!)
By Linda Melone