25 March 2015

3 Ways Stay-at-home Parents Can Be More Active

Photo credit: jacsonquerubin / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
I read an interesting (and scary) article the other day. Apparently there has been some studies on sitting and sedentary lifestyles and the studies show that too much siting decreases your lifespan. You would think being at home with a little person would keep me on my feet all the time (which some days it definitely does), but I often find myself sitting a lot throughout the day, mostly because I use my computer to work from home and one of my favorite hobbies is blogging. I really don't feel as active as I used to be back in the good ol' days of college when there was a gym within a five-minute walking distance from my apartment.

Here is the part of the article that scared me the most: "What's particularly interesting about recent research is the revelation that sitting for extended periods of time does significant damage to human health that cannot be undone by exercising. Sitting for several hours each day is bad for you, like smoking is bad for you, regardless of whether you do healthful activities, too."

Yikes!

For me, I'm just so used to sitting and working for hours that it has just become habit to do a lot of sitting even when I'm not working. I want to change that, so I've thought of three different ways to get my booty off the couch, and hey, you might find these useful too.

1. Find a way to work from the computer standing up

I can't afford to buy a standing desk right now (and I wouldn't have anywhere to put it in our little house anyway), but I can use my kitchen's serving bar as a standing desk by putting my computer on top of the counter. Another idea I had was to use a cardboard box on the kitchen table to bring the computer up to my height. A little ghetto, I know, but at least I'm up and off my butt.

2. Incorporate exercise

I know I'm not the only parent who struggles with exercising. Finding the time to exercise with a child around takes creativity. Since I can't afford a gym membership right now, I like to go on walks around my neighborhood and do exercise videos on YouTube a couple times a week. That has worked out really well for me.

3. Watch less TV

Obviously, watching TV is an activity we do while siting. I love my TV shows, and it is a great way to relax after a long day; however, if I have the goal of sitting around less and being more active, I need to limit my TV time.

I've been really trying to sit less for the past week. Some days are better than others, but on the days where I'm up and moving most of the day, I feel great! Last Saturday, Lorin, Miranda, and I spent ALL day outside fixing the gutters on our house. The sun was shining, and I felt so happy. Amazingly, I find the less time I spend sitting, the more I get accomplished.

I still have a long way to go on this, but I'm making progress. If you want to try this out, I would suggest starting out small. For example, on one day, maybe you could cut an 1/2 hour off of your TV time. Another day, you could incorporate a 15 minute walk. Then, for another day, you could try standing while working on the computer. Just start small and work your way up.

Like I said, I'm just in the beginning stages of leading a more active lifestyle, but I'm taking things little by little and am looking forward to feeling healthier.
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