The 5 Essential Wellness Tips For Sedentary People
Wellness tips are the order of the day, folks, because the act of studying can be a sedentary one. There is a lot of intense focus and sitting around that is bad enough for the human body in just 24 hours. Stretch that out over the course of a semester or school year, and you’ve got a recipe for rapidly deteriorating health.
If your studies are about to pick up due to a more intense workload, you cannot forget to take care of yourself. Here are some ways to do so even if you can’t afford — or rather, think you can’t afford — the extra time investment. Let us get started, shall we?
Wellness Tips No. 1: Dispense with the excuses.
You don’t have time for exercise? Hogwash. Everyone has time for exercise. Finding it might prove to be challenging sometimes, but it’s really the obligation of anyone concerned about their personal health and wellness to dig it up.
You just aren’t going to be a healthy person the older you get if you eliminate activity from your day.
Wellness Tips No. 2: Define healthy activity.
If you played sports in high school especially, then you know how easy it is to supercharge your metabolism. You almost don’t have to work at it at all. Doesn’t seem like you do anyway.
In reality, you are being made to stay active by coaches, regimented practice sessions, and a competition schedule. It’s not laid out that easy for you once you’re out of the system and calling the shots.
While the routines likely led to some good habits, it’s a lifestyle that needs to be nurtured to stay in place.
But don’t think for a moment you have to have played sports to maintain a healthy activity level.
In fact, it can be easier if you’re not. That’s because you are more likely to start with the kind of moderate exercise conducive to forming into a habit.
When you’re used to being considered an athlete and then all the sudden you’re not, there is a temptation to get frustrated and quit altogether when no one is there — no coach, no teammates — to spur you along.
It’s embarrassing to recall the amount of start-stops and the residual damage it caused from bleeding into inactivity over the last cough37cough years.
All that is to say this: a healthy level of exercise, especially the older you get, is the exercise you keep doing.
At first, it may mean walking 5,000 steps per day, then gradually building it to 10,000 and beyond. Just start where you are and commit to making incremental improvements every single day.
Wellness Tips No. 3: Replace exertion with movement.
When you are studying for a big exam, you may not have the time or the inclination to sling weights with any sort of regularity. The idea of straining physically when you’re already worn out mentally lacks a certain appeal. So instead of exerting yourself, you should try to work in as much constant motion as possible.
The best way to emphasize this is with an illustration.
Let’s say you have a big test coming up in a science course. You have recorded the professor’s six lectures that detail the material that will be on the exam.
You could park your posterior in a chair for 6-8 hours and listen to one after the other while taking notes with short breaks to stretch your legs in between each lecture.
It’s viable and how we likely would have done it in the olden days. (Well, all except the recorder perhaps since those were not as readily available and the sound quality varied.)
But “viable” doesn’t always translate to what is best. Instead of going this route, you should instead swap the emphasis on your two primary actions — sitting and standing/walking.
The new healthier way of doing it: go to the mall or the track with headphones on. Walk for the entire length of the lecture. Don’t overdo it.
Three to 3.5 miles per hour will work fine. From there, listen to a lecture. Summarize key points in your phone’s notes tab while you’re doing it.
Take the occasional break to sit and rest your legs. By the end of such a day, you have 6-8 hours of activity without sacrificing your studies, and you can feel more at ease when settling down in front of the television at night.
Wellness Tips No. 4: Get a standing desk.
Of course, it is not always possible to have things go exactly like that for you. Sometimes you have to write a paper or do homework, and you need to be stationary.
When that does occur, consider doing your work at a standing desk. One great thing about standing desks: people hate standing in one place for hours on end. Just ask any retail associate.
When you make the switch to standing, you will hate it, too, and that means you will end up doing more foot-to-foot shifting and pacing back and forth. This may not seem like a lot of movement, but when you are doing it all day, it adds up and makes any supplemental exercise throughout the day a lot easier to manage.
For example, your constant movement after a full day of study time puts you at 6,000 steps for the day. On a 10k per day plan, you would only need to squeeze in 20-30 minutes of sustained walking when you get home that afternoon to hit the goal.
Wellness Tips No. 5: Eat well, and keep tabs.
If you are having trouble hitting all your activity goals — and even if you’re not — you will want to start tracking all your foods in an app like Lose It or MyFitnessPal.
Sedentary, by its very definition, means inactive, so if your life has assumed more of that role, then maintaining a healthy balance of calories is your last line of defense against weight gain.
If you take in more than you burn, you gain weight. Period.
Now something wonderful will happen when you start paying the appropriate amount of attention to your calories. You will see that you have more freedom to eat what you want when you want it.
Got 600 calories left in your day at 11:30 p.m.? Go ahead, that midnight snack isn’t going to hurt you.
You will also discover that the annoyance of logging everything you eat goes away quickly due to the fact that you’ll learn foods and their measurement sizes more easily, and, lets face it, most people in general eat A LOT of the same things from week to week.
Since the apps remember foods as they are entered, it is incredibly easy to make daily updates post-entry, and many of the foods you eat are already in there anyway.
Last but not least, keeping accurate tabs on the foods you eat will make keeping up with individual components like protein, fiber, carbs and sugars easier to do.
Being sedentary is sometimes necessary for the type of work you may be doing, but you have more freedom to move than you think as the tips above show. And if you want a good quality of life and a sharper academic performance, then you owe it to yourself. What are some things you’ve done to stay healthy as the demands of school have increased? Sound off in the comments section below.