Even in „normal times“, most of us already had sedentary jobs. Corona hasn’t made things any better. Many of us sit in a home office and barely move more than to the bathroom or kitchen during the day. In the evening, the whole body is often tense, the neck and back ache. This is not surprising when you consider that our bodies are actually designed for more or less constant movement!
In medical school we learned the mantra „It’s better to walk and lie down than to sit and stand“. This is because sedentary behaviour is associated with numerous health problems, as a study from England, among others, shows. Dr. Emma Wilmot and her team found a significant correlation between a predominantly sedentary lifestyle and the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease (1). Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Germany, accounting for 40% of all deaths (2)! In addition, lack of physical activity promotes the development of some types of cancer. A protective effect of physical activity has been shown for lung, breast and colon cancer, among others (3). Regular exercise also prevents the development of osteoarthritis and depression and strengthens the immune system (4)! When we exercise, the body releases endorphins as well as dopamine and serotonin, so-called „happiness hormones“ (5). If we are also regularly exposed to daylight and eat a wholesome diet (see my article), the best conditions for our physical and mental well-being are created.
Thus, I want to show you how you can bring more exercise into your everyday life!
Tips for more exercise in everyday life
- Every 30-60 minutes, get up briefly, stretch, do some squats or walk around a bit. Shake out your shoulders and contract your shoulder blades a few times to prevent tension. Stretch your cervical spine backwards, forwards and in circles to the sides. Stand on your toes and stretch your arms alternately towards the ceiling.
- In general, make sure you sit up straight and don’t arch your back.
- Whenever you have a journey ahead of you, walk or cycle instead of taking the car, bus or train. Or at least get off earlier and walk the rest of the way. If you walk at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes, you have already completed a small sports unit.
- The German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention (DGSP) recommends walking 10,000 steps a day and being physically active for about 150 minutes a week (6).
- Whenever possible, climb stairs instead of taking the lift or escalator.
- Take a short walk during your lunch break after eating.
- Go for a brisk walk or jog either before or after work, or do a workout from the internet.
- While brushing your teeth, you can do some leg or arm stretches. You can also do these just before bed in combination with a short meditation session.
- If you have a choice between exercise and sofa, choose exercise. Enjoy the quiet, relaxed moments even more when you feel physically exhausted!
- Choose a sport that you enjoy (if you can do it outdoors, all the better, because of Corona and all that…) and consciously set aside at least one hour every week for it. This could be a game of table tennis, for example.
I hope you can incorporate a few tips into your daily routine! Have fun putting them into practice,