Is sitting too much the new smoking? Experts say yes. Research shows that spending too much time sitting down can be deadly. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and early mortality. Staying active has the opposite effect.
Middle-aged and older adults who limit their sitting to 30 minutes or less at a time reduce their risk for early death. This finding is true despite how much they exercise each day. In other words, one key to staying healthy is to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Here are a few tips to help you become more mindful of how much you sit and how much you move throughout the day.
6 Ways to Sit Less and Move More
1. Move while you talk
Whether it’s waiting on hold to schedule an appointment or catching up with a friend by phone, keep moving. Don’t sit down on the couch or chair. Staying in motion while you chat or wait helps you avoid the dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
2. Purchase a fitness tracker
It’s easy to become engrossed in the latest series on Netflix or your favorite shows on HGTV and lose track of time. If you don’t already have one, invest in a fitness tracker that has a movement sensor. This will help you count the steps you take each day. It will also alert you if you’ve been sitting too long. The Vívosmart 4 and Fitbit Versa 2 are a few devices with movement reminders to explore.
3. Set daily step goals
When you are stuck indoors during the winter or busy running errands, it’s easy to lose track of how many—or few—steps you’ve taken. By setting and monitoring a daily step goal throughout the day, you’ll have a better chance of remaining active. If you haven’t engaged in physical activities for a while, it’s probably a good idea to talk with your physician about how many daily steps you should be taking. Don’t be discouraged if you have to start slow and work up. The overall objective is to keep moving.
4. Adopt a dog
Having a furry friend to love and care for every day nurtures the body, mind, and spirit. Dogs can make especially good companions for seniors. They not only encourage you to walk more, but to socialize too. Adopting an older dog might be a little easier for a senior than an overactive puppy. Many cities and towns have dog parks that are great places for humans and their canine companions to make friends and be active!
5. Rethink how you watch television
Between winter weather and concerns about the coronavirus, many people are spending a lot of time indoors. And, unfortunately, in front of the television. While it’s understandable, it is important not to sit for too long. Instead, consider watching your favorite morning show while walking on the treadmill or riding a recumbent bike. Both types of exercise equipment are available at good prices online. If you do watch television during the day, be sure to get up to stretch or make a few laps around your house every 30–60 minutes.
6. Volunteer your time
Retirement can be a stage in life when finding meaningful activities may be more difficult. One easy way to find purpose is to volunteer. By volunteering with children or youth, you might also stay more active. Call your local United Way agency or visit VolunteerMatch online to connect with an opportunity near you.
Stay Active at North Chandler Place
At North Chandler Place, our active lifestyle is anything but sedentary. You’ll find life enrichment programs that engage the body, mind, and spirit every day. It’s easy to see why independent living is such a popular choice with Chandler, Arizona seniors.
If you are just starting your search for independent living, our free guide might be of interest. A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing will help you learn more about the variety of financing options that are available.