How to Step Out of Your Sedentary Life
I once lived a life where I stepped from my car to my cube then back to my car and to my couch. So how did I step out of that sedentary life and into a fit life? I literally took one step at a time. I began with walking sprinting intervals.
Stepping Out of My Sedentary Life
My inspiration was Mark Sisson, the fitness author of Primal BluePrint. Mark introduced me to the idea of interval sprinting through his books, free videos and blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. I loved that I could reap the fat loss and fitness benefits in a shorter amount of time with intervals of high-intensity sprinting and walking. This technique is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
And so it was that I decided to give it a try.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
One night I put on my New Balance running sneakers, got my dog Blue, and we walked to the nearby park where there is a circular track. I don’t know how long the park’s track was but hazard a guess it was 1/8th mile. I walked the first lap with Blue at my side. Then I got up the courage to sprint as fast as I could for half the length… but it was too much for me. So, I visually broke the track into 1/3 segments using landmarks. And I would alternate between high-intensity sprinting and walking each segment. Blue had to slow his pace to keep up with my top running speed! And after three complete laps I was breathing very hard. Then I would end with another lap of walking to cool down, making it 5 laps total — about 1/2 mile or so. Blue and I did our walking sprinting intervals three nights a week.
Check this out: A study published in the International Journal of Obesity reveals three weekly HIIT sessions increased fat loss and helped female participants lose as much as 7.3 pounds after 15 weeks.
And this is how I stepped out of my sedentary life. Eventually — and it took quite a while — I was running a 3k 3x a week on an indoor track.
The Walking Revolution
If my routine sounds too robust for you, Mark Sisson offers a 6-second sprint and walk workout.
If you cannot sprint or run then join The Walking Revolution. Checkout this free 30-minute documentary film that shows how walking is the alternative to a sedentary life and can be simple, fun, and free. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car far away from the entrance rather than nearby, try mall walking, use a standing desk, are small everyday changes that help you step out of your sedentary life.
The film also reminds us of the practically unlimited exercise opportunities that come from owning a dog. Not only do dogs need to go outside several times each day, but they also want to play with us. And if your dog is like my Blue, then s/he will love to be your exercise buddy!
Bottom Line on a Sedentary Life
The medical risks from a sedentary life are significant. "The sedentary lifestyle is blamed for as many deaths as smoking," says one newscaster who begins the film. "Prolonged sitting is linked to breast cancer and colon cancer," says another.
So I urge you to step out of your sedentary life. Here are my tips to Make Walking Your Everyday Good.
Always check with your trusted healthcare professional to assess your level of fitness before beginning a new exercise program.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
- Cheryl Ann Borne