Move More, Feel Better!

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

December 14th, 2012

Do you exercise regularly? We’ve all heard that 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week can do wonders for our health. Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure and weight, stave off diabetes and some forms of cancer and reduce the risk for heart disease and (that ever persistent) stress! However, some people just don’t like exercise and even cringe upon hearing the word. If you find yourself in that category, you may need to keep things very basic and creatively incorporate movement into your day.

If your definition of “lifting” is picking up the TV remote and you consider performing a “crunch” going from the recline position to upright in your chair, you can start by keeping it simple. Did you know that fidgeting can burn 350 or more calories per day? We all know people who swing their leg, tap their feet, or simply can’t sit still – they’re natural “fidgeters” and don’t need to consciously think about it. If you’re not a natural, become one by making mental reminders throughout the day to shift your feet, bounce your leg, stretch your arms or pace while talking on the phone – you get the idea. Burn up calories with practically no extra effort. Before you know it, you’ll be a natural fidgeter too!

How about TV? Are you hooked on “Dancing with the Stars”, “CSI”, or “The Walking Dead”? (Heck, even the dead walk now, no excuses for the rest of us!) Why not move during the commercials? Lift some dumbbells, do a few squats and add some crunches while you wait for your show to return. How many squats can you do during those long car commercials? Once you get that routine down, try walking (or getting your groove on with those dancing stars) in place during the rest of the show – it’s easy, no fancy equipment required!

One last suggestion: change the channel during the food commercials as these can send you “moving” to the fridge instead of moving toward better health! For more tips on burning calories in front of the TV, read this article from Livestrong.

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