What happens when you’ve had a really long day and all you can do is muster up the energy to make it home to the couch? I know, we’ve all had days like that, sometimes weeks like that! Instead of sitting on the couch, relaxing, and beating yourself up about not working out or making false promises to workout extra tomorrow… you can try STEPPING UP. At each commercial break, stand up and walk in place or around your house. During an hour long show, you should burn as many calories as if you took a 30 minute walk.
“Researchers had 23 men and women watch TV for one hour without moving and for a second hour while stepping in place during the commercials. They stepped at a moderate pace (100 to 120 steps per minute), lifting each leg six to eight inches off the ground. During the hour that they stepped during the ads, the participants were active for 21 minutes and took roughly 2,100 steps. They also burned about 150 calories, nearly double the 80 calories they burned during the hour they sat still. The average person burns 150 calories walking for a half hour at a brisk pace (3 mph).” (Schardt, David. “Step to it.” Nutrition Action 39.2 (2012): 8. Print)
The study was conducted while watching TV, but we could extend STEPPING UP to desk work as well. If you regularly sit behind a desk, use this same idea. Set up a reminder to go off 3 to 4 times per day (knowing that you won’t be able to stop for a break every time the alarm bells ring). Even if you are on the phone, you can stand up and walk in place. You can take a walk through the cubicle maze or just walk in place for 5 to 8 minutes. Start a competition in your office, keep score on a whiteboard for how many times you’ve walked during the day. Unfortunately, you can’t count a walk to the coffee shop or lunch if you are getting a sugary latte or fried foods. Don’t cancel out your walk with high calorie food and drinks.
All this walking shouldn’t replace your regular workouts, of course. It’s just a nice way to burn an extra 70 to 100 calories. So try STEPPING UP! Do it for a month and it will become a habit! As always, contact me with any questions.
Healthy, happy STEPPING!