HEALTHY LIVING: Stand up and move

Learn how to combat a sedentary lifestyle with some helpful lifestyle and nutritional tips.

Recent studies suggest that ‘relaxing’ (for too long) may be harmful to health.

Since most of the general population sit for longer periods of time than moving around during the day, sedentarism can be a common health risk in our society. Sedentarism refers to many of the activities commonly associated with the word sedentary, for instance, sitting, lying down, sleeping/napping, and other various actions that are performed in a state of low energy expenditure for extended periods of time.

Common daily activities, such as watching TV, sitting at a desk, napping, working on a computer, ‘relaxing’ in an arm chair or couch, driving and sitting in a vehicle all contribute to a sedentary lifestyle.

This can all lead to the growing obesity problem and is a big factor for developing medical problems.

Research indicates that there is no real acceptable amount of prolonged physical inactivity because health consequences develop quickly.

Sedentarism is a different issue than lack of dedicated exercise. It is not avoided by meeting exercise guidelines, since excessive sitting time can counteract the benefits of good exercise and actually worsen overall health.

While being sedentary, just standing up at regular intervals and moving around is better than not moving at all for prolonged periods. Research suggests that fairly low amounts of movement will begin to offset some of the health dangers of excessive sitting.

For work, many people have office jobs or employment that requires them to sit for long periods. Having this type of job can be detrimental to health in the long-term, if precautions are not taken to counteract the effects of sitting most every day for extended periods.

Incorporating brief, regular stretch and stand up breaks, along with walks or exercise at dedicated “meal breaks” can help to offset the negative effects of sedentary jobs.

Snack on healthy foods, such as snow peas, celery, carrots, cherry tomotoes, cucumbers, peppers, berries, melon, apples, bananas, peaches, grapes, pears, etc. for a way to improve intake of colourful vegetables and fruits, along with increasing amount of good fibre and naturally low calorie, nutritionally dense foods.

If coffee is the beverage of choice for your workday, moderation is key.

Too much caffeine (more than four regular cups of coffee per day) over time, can have an impact on health.

Sipping on water  flavoured with lemon, lime, cucumber, orange, ginger, or herbs, such as mint, basil, rosemary can offer a way to improve non caffeinated, no calorie fluid intake for better health.

Eating out regularly for work lunches can easily lead to overeating of foods that can be too rich, oversized portions, and contribute to weight gain over time.

Pack your lunch or meal that you have available at your workplace break.

This will give you some control over what type of foods you eat during the day. Healthy foods in a packed lunchbox will include half of the contents as vegetables and fruits, with a quarter portion of protein-rich foods and a quarter of whole grain starches.

For example, a turkey sandwich on seed/grainy bread, filled with shredded veggies and lettuce. Cherry tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber slices, carrots and celery, plus yogurt with berries.

By including delicious, healthful foods in your brown bag lunch, you will eat healthy and feel better by the end of the day. In addition, if you pack your lunch for the majority of your week, this will help ensure that you have healthy meals/snacks to maintain good health.

Keep the treats (bakery items, cookies, candies, chips, etc) to a minimum, since they will be eaten first, if available. While working, most people have less willpower for tempting sugary or salty snack foods.

If, for the majority of days, you find yourself sitting, make a conscious effort to stand up and move frequently to break up the time and this will do your body good.

Think about walking for a portion of the meal break during work, instead of sitting and using the computer or driving. Eat healthful snacks and meals to help ensure you maintain health for the long-term.

 

Sandra Gentleman, is a registered dietitian and co-founder and steward of Canal Beach.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Alberni wrestler heads to University of the Fraser Valley to compete

Ravi Manhas is one of 10 recruits signed to the Cascades for 2018-19

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read