In continuation of our ‘Health & Wellness’ month, here are some great tips for all of us that spend most of our day sitting!
Today’s ‘Guest Post’ is by Kellie Hill of The Right Plan Nutrition Counseling.
The average person sits for nine hours a day, much of it at a desk job. During the winter months, when the days are shorter, exercising or working outside gets difficult and it’s tougher to crawl out of bed to work out, many of us desk-jobbers are even more sedentary. This can lead to an ever-expanding midsection which is tied to insulin resistance, elevated levels of triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. A few preventative measures can help counteract your sitting time and help you maintain your health during the winter months.
- Hydrate – everything in your body works better when properly hydrated. All the receptors in the cell membranes (which are the means of command and the control message system) function more efficiently, proteins and enzymes are more efficient, oxygen is delivered better to the cells, nutrients are properly transported, body temperature is regulated, toxins and waste are more easily removed, the immune system is strengthened, as well as bones, joints, and organs are better cushioned. Don’t divert water intake with the consumption of too much coffee, soda, tea, milk, juice, alcohol, etc. These upset our water balance even though they consist mostly of water. They are diuretics and can actually cause the body to excrete more water than the drink contains. Try and sip your water throughout the day; most people can only metabolize about 1/2 cup of water every half hour. No need to take in the water if it’s not going to get used.
2. Walk Around – even if you find time for an hour-long workout in, it’s often not enough to offset all the chair time. When you sit too long, your body stops producing lipo-protein lipase, an enzyme that essentially vacuums fat out of your bloodstream. Making small changes to your daily routine will make a difference!
Some examples: Set a timer and walk to your glass of water every half hour. Place your trash can on the other side of your cubicle. Walk to talk to a co-worker rather than send an email. Take the stairs. Sneak in a few minutes of walking on your lunch break or before you walk into the building or head home (bring your umbrella and some layers so that weather isn’t an excuse). Instead of a meeting at the conference table, organize a group walk-and-talk around the block. Do a lap around the office or building for a break or before hitting the break room for your coffee. Activity has been shown to increase brain power so by getting up and around for a few minutes, you’ll also be more focused, alert and creative while improving your health.
3. Stash Snacks – without your own stash it’s easy to be tempted by foods containing added sweeteners which are typically higher in calories and can add extra pounds. Plus they are digested quickly, making you hungry sooner, and more likely to snack again. In a desk drawer have nitrite-free jerky, almonds, trail mix, Lara or Organic bars. If you have access to a refrigerator add turkey breast slices, apples, carrot sticks, grapes, red peppers, hummus, hard boiled eggs, and olive mix. Be sure to stock up on these healthy snacks around the holidays, when those holiday sweets start appearing all over the office. And if it’s your turn to bring a treat, bring in some healthier choices; your colleagues will appreciate it!
Kellie Hill is the owner of The Right Plan Nutrition Counseling in Medford, Oregon. Her philosophy is that there is no one-size fits all diet. Because of bio-individuality (each one of us is different), most diets will work for some people and not for others. We need to eat nutrient dense, whole foods that have been properly prepared – real food, as close to the form it was originally grown/raised in, prepared in a way that preserves or even enhances the nutritional value of the food. Kellie consults with long-distance clients by phone and internet. She can be reached at 1.541.772.PLAN (7526) begin_of_the_skype_highlighting or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Kellie! Here’s to living a ‘Heart-Centered Life’!