I have recently been gifted a Garmin running watch (thank you, Mom). The watch tracks your heart rate, daily steps, and amount of intensive activity per week. The watch can also be used as a GPS and pace monitor while running. Up until this point, I have never tracked my heart rate or counted my daily steps. But now that I have, I am hooked.
Not only has the watch made me more aware of my daily activity, but is has also drawn great attention to my daily INNACTIVITY. The watch, programmed to make sure the wearer stays active throughout the day, contains an alert system that vibrates every time you are stationary for one hour. And let me tell you, that happens quite often. Before getting the watch, I did not realize how much being in classes causes you to be stationary. Think about all the time you spend sitting in a lecture, or studying in the library, going hours upon hours without even standing up. Sitting in one place for only 2 hours is considered a long period and can start to take a toll on your body.
Since the watch has made me aware of my stationary habits, I have come up with a few tactics to make sure I am keeping my body moving.
- Stand when you can
Although it may be slightly embarrassing to stand up in the middle of a lecture hall, you can easily find ways to subtly stand throughout the day. If you are studying at home, try to stand and pace back and forth while going over flashcards or watching videos. If you are attending a club meeting or information session, try standing in the back while listening instead of taking a seat.
- Walk for transportation
The blessing of living in a city – everything is close! Instead of spending money on Uber or pubic transportation, try to walk as many places as you can. Even in bad weather! Bundle up and get ready to go.
- Start your day with movement
If you exercise in the morning, your body will metabolize more efficiently throughout the day – your higher energy level will make your muscles more eager to move.
- Take breaks
If you find that you have been sitting in the same spot for more than an hour, get up!! All you need is a quick break to get your body moving. Simply walking to the bathroom or going to grab food will suffice. If you are in a building with stairs, try doing a couple sets of stairs during your study break – not only will it get your blood flowing, it will also tone your glutes and calves!
- Pay attention!
Most importantly, pay attention to your activity levels. Take note of how long you stay still. It is easy not to think about the effect of being stationary, but it is something that should always be on the back of your mind. Keep yourself moving!