Many of us have been spending most of our time at home for the last year, and one of the unfortunate side effects of that has been a reduction in physical activity. Ten thousand steps a day is difficult enough even when you have access to the outdoors, moreso when the only walking you get to do is from the bed to the kitchen, and to the couch. Even if you do a "proper" workout for 30 minutes or more, it doesn't help to be virtually motionless for the other 16 or so hours that you're awake.
What are the dangers of physical inactivity?
Do you remember that animated film Wall-E in 2008, where the last surviving humans lived on these luxury cruise-like spaceships, and had become obese because everything was automated and didn't require them to move?
Sans the spaceliner, we're pretty much headed that way. Why stand when you can do all your work and Zoom calls without ever moving from your chair? Why bother to cook when you can just order via Grab? Why work out if you can just rest after a long day and watch Netflix instead?
Well here's why: According to the CDC, lack of physical activity can lead to heart disease, and can increase the likelihood of developing other heart disease risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Also, research suggests that "prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity." This means that even if you do some serious workouts a few times a week, it doesn't make up for prolonged inactivity the rest of the time.
The solution is to incorporate movement throughout the day. This is where Microworkouts - exercises lasting seconds to a few minutes, can help.
What are some Microworkouts you can do?
Try mixing and matching the following. Do them at the top of the hour, while waiting for a meeting to start, or anytime you feel you've been motionless for too long. If you need more of a challenge, have your weights or resistance bands on standby to boost intensity.
10 regular squats or jump squats
10 back lunges / side lunges / walking lunges
10 deadlifts or good mornings
Upper body and core
15s-30s side plank (each side)
10 wood chops per side
20 jumping jacks
1 minute jump rope
20 high knees
Need to see how these exercises are done? Follow Primal Health Manila on Instagram for exercise videos and workout ideas.