To stay healthy, it is not enough just to watch what you eat. You need to combine your healthy diet with sufficient exercise. The intensity of this exercise depends on your goal.
Here, we assume that you are healthy and want to stay that way. So your goal is not to change anything, but to maintain something: you want to (continue to) feel good in your own skin.
Many people sit still for far too long. Especially if you have a sedentary job, it is difficult to avoid sitting still for too long. But in the long term, the consequences of your sedentary posture will become noticeable: neck and back complaints, weakened muscles, little or no physical fitness, etc.
Get into the habit of never sitting still for more than an hour at a time. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone and it is probably equipped with a timer function. When you sit down, set this timer for maximum 55 minutes. When your alarm goes off, it's time to get up and stretch your legs. Get a drink, step outside for some fresh air, walk over to a colleague for a chat... Or just get up and do some stretching exercises if you can't leave your post.
Standing still for too long is also very taxing on your neck, shoulders, back and knees. Again, do not stand still for more than one hour. Here too, use the timer function to move briefly at the alarm to loosen your muscles and joints. If you can't leave your post, try alternating between sitting and standing if possible and do regular stretching exercises.
What is healthy exercise?
People with active jobs, such as cleaners or gardeners, often say: "I have been moving around all day". But: healthy movement = relaxing movement. Admit it: do you find your work relaxing? I don't think so. So exercise while working doesn't count as healthy exercise.
So what should you do? If you have time for a sporting hobby, then of course that is the ideal healthy exercise. However, for many people it is impossible to join a sports club or attend training sessions at fixed times. If, for example, you have varying working hours or you have to travel regularly for your job, you often can't get there and after a while you will lose your motivation. So choose an activity that you can control yourself:
- Get a gym subscription in your area where you can work out at your own convenience
- Go for a walk, cycle or jog
- Invest in fitness equipment for your home (e.g. a cross-trainer exercises almost all the muscles in your body).
- There are many apps and YouTube videos that help you do yoga or Pilates at home.
Try to set aside half an hour every day for relaxing exercise. It may seem difficult to fit into your busy schedule, but it will make you feel better, so go for it!
- Translated from Dutch by Tamara Swalef -