Wellness Pathway #255 Start Fidgeting

Two weeks ago I mentioned the publication of new Dietary Guidelines for American by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Click to View. In the section on physical activity, they recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most, and preferably all, days of the week.

To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood they recommend approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week. To sustain weight loss for previously overweight/obese people they kick that all the way up to 90 minutes per day.

Given that most Americans are overweight or obese, the idea that we should now find 90 minutes a day to exercise has led many people to dismiss these recommendations out of hand. Who has that kind of time? Well, apparently thin people — who manage to sneak 120 minutes of extra activity into their daily routines that overweight/obese people know nothing about.

How do they do that? By fidgeting and otherwise moving their bodies. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic, reported in The Washington Post found that “obese people tend to be much less fidgety than lean people and spend at least two hours more each day just sitting still. The extra motion by lean people is enough to burn about 350 extra calories a day, which could add up to 10 to 30 pounds a year.”

In other words, lean people engage in continuous low-intensity activities that support their healthy body weight and bring them closer to the government’s new recommendations for physical activity. So don’t just think in terms of going to the gym for 90 minutes a day. Increasing our moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity is important for health and wellness; but increasing the low-intensity stuff may be all we need to do to start heading in the right direction.

Examples of low-intensity activities include walking, fidgeting, standing up, sitting down, jigging, tapping, pacing, lifting, carrying, climbing, stretching, bending, gardening, or otherwise moving our bodies throughout the day. By watching for and acting upon such low-grade opportunities to move, we could all find ourselves in better health by year-end.

Coaching Inquiries: Are you more sedentary or active? How could you start moving more as part of your daily routine? What is one thing (like getting rid of the television remote or the garage door opener?) that you could do today to induce you to be more active?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

Address: 121 Will Scarlet Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043
Phone: (757) 345-3452
Fax: (772) 382-3258
Skype: LifeTrek
Twitter: @LifeTrekBob
Subscribe/Unsubscribe: Subscriber Services