o, you sit down in an office all day and expect your 45 minute workout, performed 3-4 times a week to be enough to counteract the long list of health implications caused by your lack of movement? Sorry, but I’ve got bad news - your gym sessions alone (or your handy stand-up desk!) are just not enough to cut it.
There’s a reason the recommended daily step count is 10,000 steps.
But unfortunately, for a huge chunk of the population, being seated all day is completely unavoidable. However, this does not mean you can’t achieve the physical goals you’ve set yourself, or the 10,000 step count that we should all be aiming to hit. Just like any goal (training or otherwise) it takes a well thought out plan to try and balance out your heavily imbalanced days of being sedentary.
In simplified terms, we want to focus on 2 things:
The easiest way to think about this is to increase your step count for the day, in any way possible. We all tend to trivialise the little wins but implementing a step goal for each day/week is a very easy way to bump up your overall movement and calorie expenditure.
Have an honest look at your day to day transiting – look to swap out time spent sitting in a car/bus with walking to work (or at least park/get off further away and walk part of the way). I know, this sounds like a complete pain in the arse, but although small, it can help lead to significant change over time. Some other simple ideas are:
Just like any new habit you’re trying to create, don’t aim for something unrealistic – start with small changes and allow the disruption to what has been the way you’ve always done things to settle. Get comfortable with the new routine of more conscious moving and THEN look to increase the volume of movement. Realise it’s a new habit that you’re trying to integrate into your life – so be patient and give it time stick!
If you sit down for the majority of the day, expending baseline calories, you must give yourself the best possible chance of ensuring optimal health and achieving hard fought gains in the gym by making a conscious effort to maximise calorie expenditure during every session.
Focus your planned exercise towards whole-body workouts that preference bang for your buck exercises - those complex exercises that recruit all the body’s major muscle groups simultaneously. This preference should also encompass exercise variations that require large ranges of motion because this will do wonders to develop and improve and/or maintain your mobility - one of the biggest detrimental issues facing those who move very little each day.
Remember, sitting down in a desk job daily isn’t the enemy, it’s the total lack of movement that creates problems over time. Little healthy habits you can implement to move your body however and whenever possible will make the world of different to your health long term.
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