Hey Angels and Alphas,
Whether we like it or not, prolonged periods of sitting are a part of life, and with that, they’re a part of male and female fitness. Countless people around the world sit during work, sit while they’re eating, sit while they’re watching TV and relaxing… and you might even be sitting as you’re reading this right now.
But as research has proven, prolonged sitting is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. That’s why we sometimes hear scary stories about how “sitting is the new smoking.”
Luckily, all we need to do to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting… is to get up and move. Or try a standing desk. But constantly standing wouldn’t be the answer either.
Fortunately, new studies published in the Endocrinology and Metabolism journal, have looked at how interrupting sitting with movement will impact your fasting glucose and glycemic variability.
In short, moving just 3-5 minutes every hour or so might be enough to minimize the harm done by sitting too much.
According to the study, fasting glucose is the amount of sugar in a person’s blood. A normal blood glucose level should range between 70 and 100mg/dL, while any higher value could indicate a condition such as diabetes. Glycemic variability will simply refer to changes in blood glucose levels over an extended period of time.
In this study, researchers enlisted 16 office workers (about middle-aged) who had obesity and sedentary jobs. Over a period of 3 weeks, half of the participants maintained their normal routines while the other half wore a monitor that alerted them to move for 3 minutes every 30 minutes.
After the test period, the control group experienced the same problems as before: high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
On the other hand, the group that moved during the day (climbed stairs, walked, did a few squats by their desk) exhibited lower blood sugar variability and lower blood sugar levels. Not to mention, they also showed higher levels of HDL, also known as good cholesterol. The more the person moved during the day, the better their score was.
Even though these metabolic changes were modest, the study was done over the course of only 3 weeks. Researchers who led the study noted that adding more regular activity throughout a usually sedentary day will have even better effects when performed over the long term.
6 5-MINUTE WORKOUTS YOU CAN DO ANYWHERE
Below, we’ve listed 6 ways you can build a 5-minute training routine and add it effortlessly throughout your day. When you mix and match between light cardio and bodyweight strength training, you’ll be able to keep the downsides of sitting down to a minimum. The best part? These exercises can also be performed at home or in the office with pretty much no equipment.
#1 JUMPING JACKS
Jumping jacks require nothing but a little space to move, and they’re one of the best ways you can build some cardio in a short amount of time. You can perform them right next to your desk, bed, or anywhere else, and fit as many as you can in a 5-minute range.
#2 RUNNING THE STAIRS
If you have stairs in your home or office, just spend 5 minutes jogging up and then slowly walking down. No stairs? That’s okay. Just march in place with your knees high to your chest and you’ll achieve a similar effect.
#3 SHORT WALK AROUND THE OFFICE (OR HOME)
A quick walk around the house or the office will get your blood moving before you go back to your comfy chair. Maybe you’ll even come back rehydrated or with a fresh cup of coffee.
#4 HOLD A PLANK
If you want to strengthen your core and add a little stability to your body, drop down onto your hands and toes like you’re about to do a pushup and hold that position for a minute or two.
#5 CHECK YOUR MAIL
Stand up and simply head outside and check your mailbox. It’s an easy task, but it will be more than enough to get your body moving. And plus, fresh air is always an invigorating bonus.
#6 SQUAT IN PLACE
Air squats work your legs as well as your heart. Do as many as you can in 2-3 minutes, the pause, then do one more 1-2-minute session. You don’t need to add any weight, just the pure function of your body will get blood rushing through it and reinvigorate you.