In an ideal world, everyone would get 30 minutes to one hour of physical exercise every day. Unfortunately, certain careers, such as truck driving or computer programming, involve sitting in one place for hours at a time. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, it can be a challenge to take care of your body. Here are some tips for staying healthy even if you must sit still.
Drink Water, Not Soda
While you may not be able to control your level of activity, you can control what goes into your body. Drinking sugary sodas can have serious negative effects on your health, causing things like weight gain and elevated blood sugar. Drinking soda can also make it difficult to pass required health exams.
For example, if you’re a truck driver, your DOT physical exam will require a urinalysis to screen your sugar and proteins to determine if you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or if there are any issues with your kidneys. Staying properly hydrated will help make sure that you pass this test every time. Plain water is the best for achieving the hydration you need for proper health.
Make a Point of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Your food choices have a significant impact on your overall health. People who work at sedentary jobs tend to eat whatever is closest to them. Many people stock their work areas with processed foods and packaged snacks. While these foods are convenient, they lack the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, and as such can cause health complications in the future.
Try keeping some fresh fruit within arm’s reach. You might also keep a cooler with fresh vegetables and low-fat ranch dip nearby. When you need a snack, you’ll be more likely to reach for something healthy rather than taking in empty calories from junk food.
Move When Time Allows
Having a sedentary lifestyle can make fitting in exercise difficult, but you can find ways to incorporate activity into your day. When you have a coffee or bathroom break, take a route that forces you to get in some extra steps. Park as far away from buildings as you can. A few minutes of extra walking is excellent for your cardiovascular health.
Sitting for prolonged periods can reduce your flexibility over time. Some basic stretches done before and after an extended session of sitting can keep your body working as it should. Finally, when you have a day off, make up for your lack of movement during the week. Try going to a yoga class or taking a long walk in the woods.
Just because you have a sedentary lifestyle doesn’t mean that your health and well-being have to suffer. You just need to make some intentional choices about your day. By paying attention to what you eat and moving when you can, you can minimize the effects of sitting.