Do you know what an oxymoron is? The set of Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedias that my parents bought from our local grocery store when I was in middle school defines it as, “A figure of speech in which contradictory terms are brought together, as in a phrase.” I think Fitness Blogging somewhat matches that description. If you truly think about it, most fitness bloggers have to sit down and search the internet to come up with all of the information, photos, etc that they need to produce a nice blog post. I know that mine can take me up to an hour to perfect. The whole time I am sitting and the only muscles I am engaging are my eyes, brain, and fingers. This is not so great for improving the five components of physical fitness:
- I am not working my cardio vascular system unless I’m working on some kind of breathing exercise while I do my work, but even then, it’s not really taxing the system enough to produce significant gains in my VO2max.
- I am not improving my muscular strength because I am not lifting anything while I type.
- I am not improving my muscular endurance except for in said small muscle groups and thereby not improving my actual physical fitness.
- I am not working on my flexibility. In fact, I’m kind of ruining parts of it as the natural posture of anyone on the computer is to slump forward at the shoulders and let go of any engagement in the core muscle groups.
- I am not improving my body composition. A lot of times I snack while I work on the computer and that is not really doing anything great for reducing the amount of calories I take in or creating caloric balance because I’m not burning hardly any calories while I type this.
So, how do I combat work at the computer? First is that I try to work upstairs in my office area and not to bring snacks other than water up to work with me. I try to sit on my physio ball so that I engage my core more, sit with better posture, and often find myself bouncing for fun that gets my heart rate up a little bit. I try to take breaks to try out the exercises (especially for Tone It Up Tuesdays) that I’m writing about because it helps me to write about the movement. And I take breaks. I take breaks to move around and check on kids and just stand up.
It used to be (before email, computers, texting, etc) that people who worked in real offices had to walk down the hallway or across the office to ask each other a question or to get a document signed. There were couriers who delivered documents via bicycle (and there still are in some places, although that number seems to be dwindling) and office runners. Now we don’t even see people we work with for days on end. We are like hamsters stuck in a wheel…..minus the exercise. Some of this has to do with the discussion yesterday about moderation and our inane drive to always have more which always seems to leave us with less. And part of it is negative effects of a technologically advanced society. My tip to you this week, whether you’re at home visiting people, or cramming in hours at work so you don’t fall behind over the holidays, is to find a way to move a little more.
It’s some of the same principles we hear about every day, but I think we always need a holiday refresher:
- Park the car further away when shopping
Get outside and play a game of football with the family while the turkey is cooking
If you’re where there is snow, it’s never too early for sledding
Take an after dinner walk with the family around the block or at a nearby park
Go caroling around the neighborhood, even if the neighbors are a mile away
Replace the chairs at the table with physio balls and see who can drink and stay up through the meal
Have the family compete in plank contests at commercial breaks while watching the Thanksgiving Day parade or other holiday specials
Carry your groceries from the store to the car instead of using the cart
Take the stairs up 80 flights to your friend’s Manhattan loft while carrying the Jell-O mold
No matter how you choose to do it, get active this week!
What family traditions do you have to improve the activity at the holiday?
Do you work in an office?
Do you move around for your job?
What’s your favorite oxymoron?
Come back on Thursday for all things Black Friday and what I really want for Christmas to combat Fitness Blogging Oxymoronic-ness…..