Get up and walk! or Stand! Hike! Bend! Dance! Do Anything!
Go to the bathroom. Get up to change the television channel. Stand to watch a show. Change clothes. Walk around the house. Perhaps try a yoga pose? Is this really enough to help you? Don’t you need to be more active than that? What if you can’t?
Activity Facts from Homecare Assistance for Senior Care: Regular exercise lowers your risk of a stroke by 27%, reduces instances of both high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease by 40%, cuts your chance of developing diabetes by 50%, and lowers your risk of developing colon cancer by a whopping 60%.
Walking is Exercise
People who take brisk walks can help colds be less severe. It is not just chronic or fatal conditions we try to avoid with fitness. People who take any walks can help their health situation.
The point is to avoid sitting. Inactivity is the problem. Watching four or more hours of television a day, according to a study at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria, Australia, can make you 80% more likely to die from heart disease. It is the sitting. Sitting like this is done with very little muscle movement.
Standing engages your muscles
A study from July 2008 showed that standing engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase, a fat-absorbing enzyme that triggers the body to process fat and cholesterol. Even if you don’t have a regular exercise program, this little change in your verticality can make a big difference.
Standing Burns Calories
Sitting does too, but not many. It is closest to sleeping at 46 calories per hour. Reading is 84 calories per hour. Standing in line is 94 calories per hour. (Calculated for a person that weights 155 pounds. Watching television is as inactive as you can get without sleeping. Oh my.
How Many Ways can You Avoid Sitting?
Cross the room.
Cross the road.
Walk in circles.
Walk backwards to see if you can.
Walk to another room.
Switch televisions for each show.
Switch chairs for each show.
Stand up during commercials.
These are such simple answers, they are humorous. But they really do avoid the extreme inactivity of hours of motionless sitting.
Having a visitor or friend, or helper to walk with is even better.
Self-care tasks can be simple activities. These are activities encouraged by the Balanced Care Method™ whenever people are physically able. They can help keep people keep moving. Not only does such daily activity help keep people physically active longer, we now know it also can help fight heart disease and other health risks.
Jaleh Neshat is the owner of “Homecare Assistance Raleigh NC” which provides senior care for families in the Raleigh, NC area. Their “Balanced Care Method TM” caregivers provide emotional, social, nutritional, and physical care.