Living Fully, part 2
I wrote in the first post of the four areas of energy in our lives: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. When our energy levels lag in any one of these areas, it can have significant impact on how we handle stress… and essentially, our quality of life.
Dr. Lynn Rossy – speaking to a group of people who spend far too much time at desks – emphasized a really simple point: get up. I’ve read this before here and there, and she drove it home. “Working out for 60 minutes does not reduce the impact of sitting 8 hours per day,” Rossy said. And I know I go home and sit more in the evening!
I’ve also been reading more and more about how bad sitting is for our bodies! For one thing, our metabolisms slow down with little movement. Sitting – and slouching – compresses our spines; we drop our heads and necks forward toward computer screens, causing neck problems; our rears become wider; blood flow is hindered (one thing I experience every single day!). There are more, but you get the idea.
Get up for a few minutes every 60 – 90 minutes throughout your day. Walk down the hall and get a glass of water. Do a plank or a wall sit. Stand up, take some deep breaths, twist your torso to loosen up your back and stretch your shoulders. This is literally 3 – 5 minutes, could be 10 minutes tops. I am positive that each and every one of us can take those few–minute breaks to make a big difference in our physical energy levels.
30 minutes of activity
Rossy addressed the recommendation that we should get 30 minutes of exercise 4 – 5 days per week. When we think about exercise, we often think about special clothes, shoes, locations, equipment… and time. For many people, this is intimidating and/or impossible.
Rossy challenged the class to rethink those 30 minutes of activity: it doesn’t have to be in one chunk to be beneficial. Walking from the parking lot to your office? Check. Walking across campus to class? Check. Chasing the kids around? Check. Grocery shopping? Walking the dog? Cleaning house? Biking to work? All checks.
Now, here is your assignment. As we go through these four energies, choose one or two Positive Energy Routines for each. These are small things (and I’ll give you ideas from Rossy). The goal is that these Positive Energy Routines become as automatic as brushing your teeth.
Here are just a few Physical Energy Routines. Choose one or two, write them down, and build them into your daily routine.
- Don’t skip meals. Keep fuel in your body.
- Eat breakfast every day to fuel your body and get your metabolism going.
- Drink 48 – 64 ounces of water each day.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Go to sleep and wake up at consistent times.
- Add three brisk 10 minute walks a day.
- Pace or stand while talking on the phone.
- Change your office culture so you can stand during meetings (and not feel strange).
- Move or stretch during TV commercials.
- Take a lap around the store before shopping.