Let’s face it, we do a lot of sitting around. For myself, I go from my 9-5 job, where I’m often sitting around at a desk, to my blogging job sitting at my computer at home. Sometimes, our recreational time involves sitting on a couch watching TV.
In fact, I just read a statistic that most Americans spend an average of 4 hours a day watching TV. That’s a lot of sitting around. I just recently cancelled my TV and went to internet streaming through a Roku box (you can read about it here), to both save money and cut down on my TV watching. However, I ended up watching more TV and ultimately doing more sitting around on the couch.
So, I’m making an active point to get more exercise and be more healthy in general.
If most of you have jobs or lifestyles that involve sitting at a desk or computer for most of the day, you probably need to make an active effort to get more healthy in general. I know I do.
Keeping an Exercise Schedule
I know that if I did not create a regular schedule for myself, I would slowly lose discipline over time. The key is that you don’t need to exercise in large chunks, you can exercise in smaller chunks spread out over time.
For example, rather than trying to run on the treadmill for an hour 3 times a week. I can set aside 35 minutes each day to exercise. By the end of the week, I’ll have run just about the same amount of time. If I am short on time, I can even break those 35 minutes up throughout the day.
So, right now my schedule is to go on the treadmill about 15 minutes in the morning. That’s because my son wakes up right at that time, and I need to stop to take care of him and get ready for work.
After work, I can then get in another 15-20 minutes.
Make a Point to Take opportunities to be Active
So, you need to step out of your office at lunch time. Your office is on the 2nd floor of your building. Do you take the elevator or stairs?
I have to admit that I’ve gotten into such a habit of using elevators out of convenience, that I often forget about using the stairs, even for short distances. not only that, but I think building designers often go out of the way to hide stairwells, assuming that everyone will use the elevator. But think of that flight of stairs as an opportunity to get a little extra exercise in during the day.
Afterall, this is one of those opportunities that costs you nothing in time. You are already headed that direction. In most cases, it will even save you time, as you don’t need to wait around for the elevator.
This is a Trick I Picked up in College.
For those of you with a home office, you can do what I do at home.
Get a pair of dumbbells, or what I have now are those elastic exercise bands (if you don’t want to have weights laying around). You can pick these up for about $8.10 at Amazon here. Although I would recommend getting a set.
Keep these near your desk and ready to use.
When you take a break, you can just pick up your weights or grab your resistance bands and work in a few sets of exercise.
This was a system that worked out really well for me in college when I was studying for exams. So, every hour I would take a break for 10 minutes or so, and instead of just sitting around doing nothing, I would work in a quick workout.
If you enjoy working out, then it’s another reason to look forward to work.
Who says you don’t learn anything in college!
It’s funny, but often times, eating unhealthy goes hand in hand with a sedentary lifestyle. I’m much more conscientious about what I’m eating when I am consistently working out.
There’s no need to deprive yourself or go on a healthy eating binge. Just try to keep a few things in mind.
Drink Plenty of Water
I always find myself not drinking enough water through the day. This is probably the one area where I need to remind myself to do more often. Probably the easiest way to do this is to keep a water bottle around with you and keep it filled.
There’s plenty of benefits to drinking more water. It keeps you energized, flushes the bad stuff out of your body, and improves your overall healthy.
I just started making a point of keeping a cup of water around on my desk when I’m working. Then I will make sure I fill it up on my breaks.
I got into a bad habit of skipping breakfast when I started working. It’s very easy to hit the snooze a few times and sleep in and then rush out of the house without breakfast. Pretty soon it becomes a habit.
However, what I find is that when I skip breakfast, my energy lags throughout the day. I think less clearly and I get tired by the early afternoon.
I actually feel more energetic if i just skip the snooze and wake up earlier to eat breakfast.
I know it’s easy to get into the habit of skipping breakfast. If you are one of those people, try to take an extra 5 minutes in the morning just to make some toast for yourself. You’ll notice the difference in your energy levels through the day.
Cut Down on the Snacking
It’s funny, but one of the worst habits I got into from having a 9-5 is a lot of constant snacking. It’s surprising how many people keep a jar of candy on their desk for the passerby. In an almost unconscious way, I would pass by someone’s desk and grab a piece of candy.
On the weekend, when I live more the lifestyle of a traditional full time blogger. (i.e. at my home office, on the computer) I end up snacking on a bag of chips or whatever is laying around throughout the day.
A while ago, I found a free iphone app to easily keep track of calories of what I eat. The app is called lose it! It’s totally free and easy to use. You just plug in what you eat, and it already has a calorie count for that food item. Then it just keeps a running tally through the day.
Surprisingly, the items that contribute the most to my calorie counts were the little snacks that I ate. So, couple pieces of candy or a bag of chips added up more than a full meal. All I had to do was cut out the snacking and I was getting a much healthier calorie count.
Eat Smaller Meals at the End of the Day
Most people, myself included tend to eat a small breakfast, and then eat larger and larger meals through the day, untill they get to dinner. Dinner is often the largest meal of the day. Then I’ll end up spending an hour getting my son ready for bed. Read him a story and hit the hay myself.
What ends up happening is that huge meal just doesn’t go anywhere at night.
During the day, our food gets actively converted to energy and expended. At night, that process is much slower. So, what happens is the food just ends up getting converted to stored energy. (ie. fat)
It’s a much healthier habit to eat a larger meal at lunch time and then a smaller meal for dinner. In fact, I tend to find that I sleep a little better at night if I don’t over stuff myself.
Making Health a Habit
So, these are a few of the changes that I am implementing to live a more healthy lifestyle. It’s really just a matter of changing my habits. Most of these things that I talk about are not really difficult changes. They are very simple to implement, and the long term benefits are really incalculable.
So, are you living a healthy blogger lifestyle?