For instance, how often does a reader use the information we provide to alter their lifestyle in some positive way? (Feel free to answer this question in the comments below).
I have less often wondered how the practice of bringing new content to our readers has influenced the way Travis and I live our lives. But a recent change in my lifestyle illustrates that this latter scenario does happen.
Not too long ago, Travis did an excellent series on the science behind sedentary physiology. In essence, Travis described the negative health effects brought on by prolonged periods of sedentary time – such as those periods sitting at one’s desk typing away on a keyboard.
I have been aware for some time that one can be a regular exerciser but be otherwise sedentary – picture someone who sits at their desk for 8 hours, drives to the gym to do 30 minutes of cardio, and drives home to eat dinner and watch television for the remainder of the night before going to bed. In a nutshell, such a person is sedentary for 23.5 hrs of each day, but exercises for 30 mins each day. Sadly, such an individual would actually, albeit just barely, meet the minimum recommended amount of physical activity. But, according to the research Travis discussed, they would be far from healthy.
As I now largely work from home, and am not within walking distance of much of anything other than the lake and woods (picturesque, sure, but not very convenient), I realized I was becoming a sedentary exerciser. I even drove to the gym!
Then Travis did his sedentary physiology series and I was nudged to make a change in my current lifestyle.
What did I do?
Essentially, I decided (completely arbitrarily) that I would do mini exercise breaks throughout my workday, with the daily goal of reaching 450 repetitions of whatever random movement popped into my head at each break.
When I first started – some 3 weeks ago now, I would do 3 different exercises per break for 30 repetitions per exercise. I would thus need to have 5 mini exercise breaks throughout the day to get to 450 total repetitions.
The exercises I do are rather random, and I’m almost positive my neighbors who have passed by the house while I was ‘exercising’ rightfully think I’m nuts.
My ‘equipment’ consists of a floor mat, a 10lb medicine ball, 2 10 L plastic water jugs, stairs, and a lot of randomness. If nothing else, this new approach has certainly made me more creative with my exercises.
My only rule thus far is that I never do the same exercise more than once on a given day – which means I need at least 15 different exercises. Also, I try and balance with a 1:1:1 ratio exercises that focus on upperbody: core: lower body, though I aim for full-body movements when possible.
Other than convincing my neighbours, and likely my fiancée, of my insanity, I also find this method keeps me mentally sharp throughout the entire day. I would normally crash a bit after lunch and then later on in the afternoon, and I’d also often struggle right in the morning. Now I just do a few exercises and I am wide awake and ready to focus.
Also, I tend to drink more water throughout the day, which is good on its own, but also forces me to go to the washroom more frequently – again interrupting my sedentary time. Thus, on the whole I doubt I ever spent more than 1 straight hour at my desk.
While doing pushups and lunges at the office may generate more attention than you’re comfortable with, you can easily do a quick break of walking the stairs, or walking around the office, every hour or so to achieve a similar outcome.
As I am keeping track of the exercises and repetitions I’ve been doing for the past few weeks, I will likely discuss this topic again in the near future. I have actually not renewed my gym membership for the first time in about 6 years as I want to see how this home-based mini-exercise break routine works out on its own. To be honest, on most days, by the time I’m finished my 450 reps I’m too knackered to want to go to the gym. On the other hand, I do miss the intensity and difficulty of my regular gym workouts.
Whoa – it’s time for my next exercise break! Walking water jug bicep curls, here I come!
Anyone have a similar routine?