There’s a new message out there these days, found tucked way on the back pages of the Globe and Mail. According to Dr. Steven Blair, who is the first winner of Canada’s Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health, inactivity is far greater an issue than overeating.
Mounting research suggests that adding activity brings you more benefits than just focusing on what you are eating. That’s not to say that diet is not important. A healthy diet is still a good thing but it shouldn’t take priority over physical activity. Dr. Blair adds, “ You can be obese and fit.”
Adding activity is the challenge. Here are four things that work for me:
- Public transit does have its benefits. Getting off the bus early and walking to my destination is quite enjoyable. It helps if you don’t have to carry a lot of stuff but even if you do, it’s functional resistance training.
- Housework has become less of a chore and more of an opportunity to move. Pushing, pulling, bending and twisting are the different planes you want to work through on a daily basis. Housework fits the bill nicely. Add a little music and it’s a modern day dance.
- Sitting is not good for us. There has been a lot of news around the benefits of standing more and taking more active breaks throughout the day. Finding ways to do this can become an enjoyable way to be active. Standing up while talking on the telephone, puttering during the TV ads are all strategies that work nicely.
- Yin Yoga has been working quite nicely for me. It’s a type of yoga that uses only a few moves held for long periods of time. It has made me a better personal trainer and therapeutic stretch teacher and, I get more fresh air walking to and from class.
The focus has been on obesity for so long that I’m happy to see that this new direction is starting to get recognition. We all need to move our bodies more. That’s the fact. So, get up now. Dance around a bit. Go get some water. All activity counts.