By Doug Trefun, Health Coach
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at work or home and someone chimes in with unsolicited health advice or the old “You know you shouldn’t do that, it’s bad for your health” line. These things often stem from some recent study featured on the morning news or in their Facebook feed. But, what if our “bad” habits aren’t actually bad—or could maybe even be good?
Let’s take a look at a few that may fall into this category:
- Not working out every day
Being active is one of the keys to great health but sometimes it’s okay to take a break. Exercise is only beneficial if there are periods of rest and recovery to avoid burning out or getting injured.
Turns out that not sitting still can have a great effect on your health. Extra fidgeting can amount to burning 350 calories or more—all while sitting. This is due to a principle known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT. Basically, any motion or movement you do requires energy and expending energy is good for you.
- Taking breaks
A healthy and well-rested mind is an efficient mind and can actually help you be more productive. Even when working on big projects, scheduling mini-breaks in the process can be beneficial.
- Not stretching before a workout
Forget every high school gym class. Skip the hurdler stretch and throw out the butterfly. Before a workout you’ll want to get blood flow to the muscles. The most efficient way to do this is through a dynamic warmup that includes a lot of movement. Save the static stretches for after the workout.
- Not standing up at work
The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” is often thrown out but how true is it? While there are benefits to standing at work or in other settings, let’s again remember the benefits of rest and recovery periods. Sitting lets you do just this.
So, the next time someone tells you they saw on Instagram that only lazy people take breaks, you’ll be ready to set them straight.
Doug’s Education and Certifications
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
ACE Certified Health Coach
ACSM Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist
ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist