The problem with plans for better health is they are always just plans. We have notions of the life we’d like to be living, but most of us will start tomorrow the same way we started today. The trick to making changes is to make them the moment you decide they matter to you.
Okay, so not all changes can be made right now, but at least you can get started on your health.
In fact, here are three things you can adjust by the time you finish this blog.
Sit up or Stand
While sitting may or may not be the most deadly thing since smoking (it’s not), slouching is definitely bad news.
Not only does slouching compromise your spine, it’s closer to lying down than sitting. In fact, lying down would be easier on your spine than slouching. A slouched posture lowers your focus, but also contributes to your overall sense of well-being, plus your confidence.
Sitting up will immediately help you focus. This will not only impact your health positively, it may positively impact your career. It will even increase you calorie expenditure.
It takes muscles to sit upright. Using those muscles burns calories. Unless you are trying to pack on weight, burning calories is a good thing. Life is burning calories.
Standing, takes things up a notch. In a standing position, you burn around another 30% of your sitting calories. That’s not bad. While standing won’t ever replace moving as a means to burn calories, like 10,000 steps will, it will help.
Take a Short Walk
Sound impossible? People have to use the bathroom from time to time, don’t they? Not to get ahead of ourselves here, but what about water breaks? Ever held a walking meeting?
Taking a quick walk through your workspace is about so much more than just burning calories. Just standing opens up your hips, part of the body that gets wound up when we sit.
A walk stretches out your wound up hips, especially if you walk consciously.
What’s conscious walking? It means you consider you stride as you walk. Many people walk like they sit, hip flexors tight, hamstrings short, no range of motion. Do this instead…
Walk tall like there is a puppet string pulling up from your head. Suck your bellybutton in; anus too, if that isn’t weird. (I imagine a cord connecting the two, then shortening.) Let your feet stick behind you a little, flexing your glutes as you stride.
One of the most common head-fakes for hunger is thirst. Staying hydrated will make your body work better.
More importantly, if you’re a snacker, it will keep your stomach full and your hands busy. You’ll be less likely to eat snacks. Don’t overcomplicate this. You don’t need the trendiest water bottle sold on Amazon.
Water bottles are lovely but don’t let not-having one stop you from proper hydration. Hit the water cooler or water fountain. Make it social
The added benefit to drinking plenty of water is you will find yourself needing to use the bathroom more. This means more short walks, calories burned, hips opened, plus all the fringe benefits of that activity.
Stand up, excuse yourself to drink some water, then use the bathroom. By the time you get to your seat, you’ll already be on the path to better health. You can still wake up tomorrow with plans to overhaul your life, but by starting right now you already see yourself as a healthier person.