The “Active Couch Potato” is a term used to describe a person that meets physical activity recommendations but spends prolonged periods of the day sedentary. You get up early to workout for an hour and that is a fantastic start, but what are you doing for the other 23 hours of your day?
Adult recommendations include a minimum of 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes/week of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both. This should be paired with 2-3 days/week of muscular strength and endurance activities and flexibility. Additional time can create further benefits.
Meeting this recommendation is great. But what does your activity level look like throughout the day when you are not in the gym? Between work, social media, TV, sleep and more there are a lot of distractions that keep most people sedentary for prolonged hours throughout the day. How can you avoid this?
It’s not rocket science, move more.
Personally, I like the Apple Watch to help remind me to get up and move. That pesky notification telling you to stand is actually a great reminder when time gets ahead of you. If you don’t have a watch you can set reminders on your phone telling you to stand. Likewise, set limits. After an episode of Netflix, get up and move for a few minutes before starting that second episode.
If you get stuck at your desk often, put bike pedals under your desk or try out a standing desk. Rather than continuously scrolling on social media on the couch, go for a walk.
Find new activities that keep you moving. Walk through a museum, play with your kids, try out juggling, or go make a meal. Little things like these help to keep some movement throughout the entire day and reduce sedentary time. It does not need to be anything crazy, just get up and move more.
- Grace Dickinson aka GVD
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