The main cause of additional body fat is that the types of food we eat have become less filling yet more calorie dense. At the same time the human lifestyle has become less physically challenging, yet more mentally challenging. The mental challenge of having to concentrate in the work place 7 or more hours a day, engage with others around us, remember everything we’ve got to do and deal with any additional external stress thrown at us often cause us to eat convenience foods, comfort our emotions with food or alcohol or use distractions like TV and computers as a means of escapism. Basically our lives have become alien to what we are genetically designed to do. Technology has evolved faster than we have and this may be why disease and dissatisfaction in life is still a problem. Perhaps you have an active job, can afford quality foods and have time to eat and move well. If so this article might not be of much use but for those of you that aren’t living as actively and naturally as you’d like to, I’m going to try to help.
Lets say you’re open to actually doing a workout for whatever period of time. You CAN exercise in any environment, all you need is space to stand up and lie down. Your body is far heavier than most dumbbell weights so use it to increase your muscle mass. Body-weight exercises, such as press-ups can be extremely challenging and they will not only tone and sculpt your body but they will boost your muscle mass. Before you panic that you will have shoulder’s like an athlete swimmer, you need to know that muscle actually takes up LESS space under your skin than fat, so as your muscle mass increases, your body will actually SHRINK! Other great body weight exercises include plank, fixed lunges, triceps dips and strengthening types of Pilates and Yoga (such as Vinyasa Flow Yoga).
If you can’t find 20 minutes from somewhere in the day to put aside for exercise, then get a standing desk for your workplace if you’re based in front of a computer or chose to stand more during the day. You could spend parts of the day sitting on a stability ball which will burn more calories per hour than sitting on a chair. Even sitting on a stool requires more energy. Perhaps you have time to take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift at work and in public places. You could stand on the train and tube instead of sit, or stand whilst you wait in the bus stop. Perhaps you could decide to make telephone calls standing up. Often we are more creative and can think more clearly if we are able to move properly whilst using our brain. If you have a mental block at work and get up and away from that work, when you return to it you can be more productive. Often when we are having telephone conversations we can find ourselves pacing around or doodling on a piece of paper. Movement equals creativity and enhances our intellectual abilities. In the competitive work environment, if that’s not a good enough reason to move more, I don’t know what is! Other ways to build more exercise into your lifestyle is to do your own cleaning at home, wash your own car, wash up after dinner instead of sticking it in the dishwasher and cook and prepare your own food.
There are so many more ways you can get and enjoy being more active so if you’d like further suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
By Gabriella Clarke Dip.Hyp Dip.PC Ad.Dip.PC MHS MNCS (ACC).
Psychotherapist & Nutrition Coach.