Small Interruptions May Have Heart Benefits
By Sandy Schroeder
Many of us are well aware that we sit too much, but researchers tell us there is another side to this story. It turns out all of the interruptions that we encounter, running to get the door, fitting in small tasks at home, and popping up and down to keep other projects going can actually help us stay fit.
What the Researchers Say
Harvard Health noted researchers have shown women who sit for long periods of time increase their risk for heart disease when compared to women who were active every day.
A recent study of older women published in Circulation analyzed activity patterns for a week, followed up for another five years. They found one hour of total sitting time represented a 12 percent higher risk for heart disease. When that sitting time stretched out into long sessions the risk went up to 50 percent, but the key is to interrupt this sitting time with activity that will get the lungs and heart pumping.
What That Means for You
If your day is full of demands and a lot of sitting time goes with the work, you may want to consider the advice on interruptions and see how you can make it work to your advantage. Here are some ways to start.
- Map out your daily schedule and insert 10-minute activity breaks throughout
- Upgrade your sitting with an adjustable computer platform to sit and stand
- Rethink your schedule to start earlier, leaving time for a half hour or hour block for of yoga, tai chi, walking or biking
- Keep your evenings active using treadmills, exercise mats, and small weights in place of couch time
- Plan weekends to bike, hike or camp or try new sports
- Involve the whole family posting workout times for everyone and awarding prizes to the best scorers
- Round up more ways to stay active like jump rope, under-the-desk peddlers, and resistance bands
- Cut back on leisure screen time to head outdoors for gardening, walking or hiking
- Walk when you are meeting with others and stand when you are on the phone
- Balance on one foot when you are working in the kitchen
- Do a few stretches when you go out for coffee on the balcony
- Keep a list of chair exercises at your desk when you have an extra five or 10 minutes
Everybody is different. Choose the activities that work for you. If you keep moving daily it will all add up helping your heart, your weight and your spirit.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roseville, Minn.