Commandment #8 Get Moving and Stay Active
Are you struggling with getting enough exercise during the day? The constraints on our time is making it increasingly more difficult to get active and stay active. As a result, we rarely take the time anymore to take care of ourselves. We stay up way past our natural circadian rhythm, and alarm clocks have replaced sunshine. We’re up past midnight catching up on our favorite Netflix shows, and then wake up to a terribly loud buzzer. Then all day long we work ourselves to the bone. This is, of course, until you get the flu because your body is so worn down that it becomes susceptible to infection. So, how do we break this vicious cycle? Well, in walks commandment #8 (pun intended).
We are sitting inside at work, then sitting inside our car on the way home, then sitting on the couch watching TV. With ever growing societal pressure to work longer and harder just to keep up, it leaves very little time to care about ourselves. This is exactly why the fast food industry was born. There is less time for grocery shopping and meal preparation. There’s an easy way out – order your dinner at a talking menu and pick it up minutes later and dinner is served. It makes sense, problem solved. But this opens into a bigger problem. Our health is suffering. Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and even cancers have risen. We have lost the art of playing outside, and going for long strolls. Well, now it’s time to get it all back! We have to take our health back and learn to be in the driver’s seat.
Getting Active and Clean Eating
Why are we telling you to stay active when this blog post should be about some element of clean eating? Because there is more to clean eating than just, well, eating. The importance of exercise and movement cannot be understated. It is a fact that it’s easier to exercise if you eat well, and it’s easier to eat well if you exercise. Why? Because the two work off each other. You get into a mental state where you don’t want to screw up hard work exercising by eating poorly, and your clean eating efforts will provide you with more energy to better perform physically.
Where to Start
Since we all get the same 24 hours, it is how we organize that time that makes the difference. If you want to change the way you feel or the way you look, then you have to stay active and move your body! Regularly! And that means finding the time. Furthermore, it means getting back some of that energy that you may be lacking. So time management is key.
It is important to realize that you don’t have to kill yourself. You can keep things simple, especially at the beginning. A 20-30 minute walk at lunchtime can do wonders. Or do 20 minutes of stretching and calisthenics in the morning. Perhaps get up from your chair every 60 min or so during the day and move around.
As you start to feel better, up your game with a hike, jog, or some light weightlifting. Speding more time outside also gets you that all-important Vitamin D.
The Evenings Just Might be Your Enemy
One way you can get back some time and energy so you can stay active, is by re-arranging your evening rituals.
- Work on reducing your “TV time” every evening. Try to get that 2 – 3 hours of TV time down to 1, or even none on some nights. When you would normally go to watch TV, you will have to find something else to occupy your time, like taking the dog for a walk, or yoga.
- Get all electronic devices out of your bedroom. Namely your phone, tablets, television, computer, etc. The blue light that comes off these machines will make it difficult for you to produce the necessary hormones to get to sleep. If you really love to read at night, try using the blue light suppressing feature that you can get on today’s tablets.
- Go to bed an hour earlier and set your alarm for an hour earlier the next day. You can start much slower if you want to incrementally take time away (5 minutes then 10 minutes etc.) and do some type of movement that first day.
Follow these sleeping tips and get to bed a little earlier. If you can now wake up a little earlier, then try some type of exercise in the morning. You can walk up and down your stairs 10 times before you head down for breakfast, or stretch as many of those stretches from middle school P.E. that you can remember. No matter what it is you do, it will work for you!
Some Extra Tips to Stay Active.
- Think about some really simple actions, like parking your car a little farther at the mall (or anywhere for that matter). Or taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator.
- Join your local YMCA or community center for inexpensive classes.
- Ask your family to join in with you, whatever your activity, so you have support at home.
- If your family can’t or won’t join in, jump on your social media page and find groups who might have your same interests. Moreover, you could even start your own group!
- Hire a personal trainer and commit to set appointments for yourself. Consequently this will make it less likely for you to no-show, if you think someone is counting on you.
- Invest in an activity tracker and join in on the online community of people walking for fun!
Without a doubt, there are tons of great ways to get a few extra steps in each day. As you continue on this path you will see how easy it is to control more of that 24-hour day we all get. Whatever it is you decide to do, stop waiting. The time is now to get moving and start feeling great!
At I am a Clean Eater, we do not want to tell you what lifestyle eating plan you should be on. We only want to help support you wherever you are on your journey. The message is about understanding what’s at the end of your fork and making the best and most informed decisions for yourself!
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For more information on this commandment, watch this video: