Last Updated on July 6, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
A lot of us live sedentary lifestyles. Opportunities today make it so we can literally stay at home and work in our pajamas. With the addition of online entertainment such as games and streaming video, it’s easy to see how some people can spend 16 hours a day sitting at their desks. How can you live healthy when you’re chained to your home technology?
It Literally Almost Killed Me
I’ve always been a computer and technology geek. I don’t mind sitting and working or playing for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, this contributed to my heart condition that almost killed me in 2016. When your heart feels like it’s pumping sludge and then stops, you know you have a problem.
However, it wasn’t merely my weight which contributed to my health problems. There was an incredible amount of stress and other factors, but being obese surely didn’t help. In fact, it made matters far worse.
Ways to Be Healthy While Chained to a Desk
Because I work and play from my desk, I needed to come up with a way that allows me to be healthier in my lifestyle. I did change a few of my daily routines, but I still sit at my desk throughout the day. How am I still losing weight and improving my health?
1. Eat Better
Eating better is one of the most obvious ways to lose weight and live healthy. But too many people believe this requires a drastic change in eating habits or a strict diet plan. In reality, you don’t need either of these.
Properly portioning out your food will make a significant difference in your health. I’ve lost more than 50 pounds total so far while still eating the same junk I did before. My secret is that I pay attention to serving sizes. Two Chewy Chips Ahoy individual cookies is a serving, not two rows.
Adding in healthier elements throughout the day is also key. Sure, I still have my chocolate. However, I also add in various fruits and vegetables to my meals and snacks.
I still eat a lot of the same foods I did in the past. I just consume far less of them. Instead of polishing off a box of Twinkies, I’ll have one throughout the day. Instead of sitting a $20 bag of mixed chocolate bars next to my desk, I only have snacks I can easily portion out.
Another thing I’ve tried to keep in my routine is having a 32oz water bottle filled sitting next to me. Water helps curb snacking as well as help remind me to drink more. After all, being saturated is part of being healthy.
2. Walk More
It’s not always easy to get out and walk when your chained to your desk. But, it needs to be done if you want to avoid a myriad of health problems. It’s all about keeping the cardiovascular system strong, and walking is a good way to get started.
If you have to set aside a half-hour per day to get a walk in, it’s worth the effort. I try to get out every other morning and walk for just over 1.5 miles. This doesn’t include walking to the store and back when I need something.
One of the biggest contributors to reversing my heart issues was the fact that I slowly increased my walks. I didn’t just jump into trying to do too much. I started slowly and eased myself into it. It’s been several months since my last episode, and I feel better than I had in a long time.
3. Include Active Entertainment
I am a big supporter of anything Xbox Kinect related. I love playing games, and the Kinect is one of the best tools to use for those who need a bit of cardio activity while being entertained. In a past case study of myself, I found that I could burn more calories playing Kinect tennis for 30 minutes than using special Bowflex machines.
I know it’s not easy to find time on some days to include a bit of active entertainment when you’re chained to your desk. But are you really that restricted on time? For example, I often rely on the argument that I just don’t have time to do certain things. But when I track everything I do throughout the day, I find that I am often wasting time on Netflix or YouTube.
It all really boils down to time management and a commitment to live.
The reason I say “active entertainment” instead of “exercise” is because I don’t believe fitness needs to be mundane and boring. Exercise is fun if you do it the right way. For instance, you can burn more calories playing a round of golf than you can lifting weights at the gym in the same amount of time.
4. Take Quick Workout Breaks
So, what if you don’t have a way to add in active entertainment? Perhaps you don’t have the money to go play golf or don’t have access to other physical activities. Then it’s worth the effort to take quick workout breaks while chained to your desk.
While I’m working from home, I’ll get up every hour and do something to get the heart pumping. Here are just a few things I’ll do in a 10 minute time span during my breaks:
- Vacuum and mop my floors
- Wash a load of dishes by hand
- Sweep the patio and walkways around my house
- Yard work, such as pulling weeds and gardening
- Push-up, lying leg raise and bicep curl workout
- Play “chase” with the dog, which is her favorite activity
You don’t have to dedicated an hour of your day to fitness. It can be quite effective to break up your day with breaks and get the body moving.
Being Chained to Work Doesn’t Mean Being Unhealthy
Lifestyles today can easily tether people to computers, smartphones and game consoles. But that doesn’t mean they have to be unhealthy while enjoying these facets of life. Remember, good health isn’t all about losing weight. Think of it more as a way to ensure life to enjoy all the things that will come. Being chained to a desk, or a couch for that matter, doesn’t mean people have to resolve themselves to being unhealthy.