Here’s a quick pop quiz for you. What do these 3 things have in common?
- Having a work meeting
- Driving to the grocery store
- Seeing a movie at the local theater
The answer? They all involve sitting down.
And here’s the thing… these days, more and more of our daily activities are sedentary activities. That means people are sitting for longer than EVER. (11 hours a day, on average.)
Of course, most of the time you don’t have a choice — you need to sit in the car to get places. But all that sitting comes at a cost…
$67.5 BILLION a year, to be exact!
That’s the worldwide price of healthcare bills for sitting-related issues.1
It’s so dangerous that some doctors are calling it “the sitting disease.” Because it can lead to a HUGE range of health problems, from obesity to sexual problems to heart disease — so it’s worth getting up and moving to avoid them.
Now, if you’ve been sitting down a lot lately… don’t worry.
When it comes to your health — especially your heart health — there’s one thing you can do to reverse the impact of a sedentary lifestyle.
And you can do it EVEN if you’ve got a desk job, or a long commute.
You see, cardiologists at the University of Texas and Texas Health Resources found that exercise could actually help REVERSE damage to restore your heart health…2
Which could play a key role in protecting you from things like heart disease.
Better still… they found that it’s never too late to START a routine. Even people who have been couch potatoes for most of their lives experienced a reversal in their health issues.
In fact, the results study participants saw were pretty amazing:
- 18% improvement in their oxygen intake — key for muscle recovery, endurance, and lung health.
- 25% improvement in heart muscle elasticity — to keep your heart pumping and your blood flow strong.
- A notable reduction in buildup and stiffening in the arteries… key for preventing strokes.
Even better news? You don’t need to work out like an Olympic athlete to see results.
Because the study found people experienced benefits from doing just a half hour of working out most days of the week.
For participants in the study, workouts were as easy as 1-2-3:
- 5-minute warm-up: Think walking at a brisk pace to “wake up” the muscles and bring the heart rate up.
- 20 minutes of interval training: Wherein participants alternated between strenuous exercise and “cool-downs” to catch their breath.
- 5-minute cool-down: Instead of stopping cold after you work out, slow down gradually to prevent cramping or locking up.
But maybe that isn’t the workout for you — and that’s okay too! It’s more important to be up and moving for 30 minutes than to do a set routine. After all, the best workout is the workout you’ll do regularly.
So if you’re looking for ideas, give one of these a try:
- Take a beginner’s dance class with friends or a partner — you’ll have a blast!
- Stay in and rearrange your living room — lifting couches is a great workout, after all.
- Ditch the snow blower and shovel snow the old fashioned way — by hand.
- Do some light yoga — if you can’t get to a yoga studio, there are tons of online classes you can try for free.
Walk around your local mall — some malls actually offer perks and discounts for regular “mall walkers!”
Above all, try to make sure you’re getting 30 minutes of exercise MOST days of the week… especially if you have a desk job or if you spend a lot of time in the car.
It’s the best way to keep your heart (and body) in tip-top shape, and to keep yourself happy and healthy in the long run!
1. Ding D, Lawson K, Kolbe-Alexander T et al. The economic burden of physical inactivity: a global analysis of major non-communicable diseases. The Lancet. 2016;388(10051):1311-1324. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)30383-x.
2. Howden E, Sarma S, Lawley J, et al. Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age—A Randomized Controlled Trial: Implications For Heart Failure Prevention. Circulation. 2018:CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030617. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.117.030617.