Sitting is the New Smoking

Did you know that walking is one of the easiest ways you can help your health? After sitting for more than an hour, your body halts the production of the fat-burning enzyme lipase by as much as ninety percent. This can greatly work against your health goals. The good news is, adding more walking to your daily routine has a huge impact. Here are a few things you should know about walking for your health.

Get Up and Get Moving!

Aiding Lipase Production

Lipase is a type of digestive enzyme or "digestive juice." It helps your body digest fats. Most of your lipase is made in your pancreas, an organ located behind the lower part of your stomach. Lipase is also made in your salivary (spit) glands and in your stomach.

Sitting for more than an hour halts the production of lipase, but why is that important? When lipase production is halted, the rate at which glucose is metabolized will also slow down. Your blood glucose levels can rise, your muscles tighten, and the muscles in your legs don’t sufficiently contract to send blood back up to your heart.

You’ll start to feel tired because your body is no longer producing enough insulin to take glucose to your muscles. This will cause you to feel hungry even if you just ate and can cause you to eat more.

Walking is the number one way to break this cycle!

5 Ways to Add Walking into Your Daily Routine:

  1. Park further away - When parking, we often park for convenience. The goal is to get where we’re going and back in the least amount of time. Parking further out can help you to walk more as part of your daily routine. Make this simple change when going to work, parking at the store, or even when you are out with friends. Add walking into your daily routine.
  2. Walk on breaks - Breaks at work can be a time when you are tempted to sit for half an hour and just unwind. Instead, opt for a delicious bowl of cereal and then add in a quick fifteen-minute walk to your break. Adding a walk to your break can not only help your health but it can help you to avoid afternoon snacking because you are breaking this cycle of sitting for long periods of time.
  3. Pick outdoor activities - When planning things to do with friends and family it can be easy to opt for dinner and a movie. After all, this seems to be a good way to spend time together. However, it also is a great way to spend most of your time sitting and eating without thinking about it. Instead, pack some whole grain granola, and head outdoors for a hike with friends. Without the distraction of outside influences, you will have time to truly connect while doing something beneficial for your health.
  4. Take an evening walk - At the end of a long day, your first instinct may be to just sit and relax for a while. Skip the couch and start with an evening walk instead. Taking a thirty-minute walk in the evening can have a huge impact on your health. Taking a walk every night before bed can help you to rest better and improve your overall health.
  5. Start a walking challenge with friends - Spending time walking can be more fun when you make it a group activity. Having the added accountability of a group of people all working towards the same walking goal can motivate you to keep getting up and walking when you want to sit and relax. Challenge your friends to join you in adding walking to your daily routine. You can set a goal in time walked or even steps accomplished each day.

What if You Work a Desk Job?

Not all jobs leave room for getting up and walking regularly. In fact, you may find that you are sitting at a desk for as much as eight to ten hours a day. So, how do you add walking to your day when you work a desk job? This is where you will have to be a bit more creative. You may not have the same access to walking as someone at a more active job. However, there are still a few ways to avoid sitting for long periods of time:

  • Work at a standing desk - A standing desk can allow you to avoid spending the entire day sitting. This simple position change can make a huge difference.
  • Plan to stand up and move around at set intervals - While you may have to work a desk job, it can sometimes help to stand up and take a moment to stretch and move around near your desk. You may not have the freedom to go for a walk but getting up and moving a bit each hour can be a big help for your overall health.
  • Skip the elevator - If you are going to be sitting for the bulk of the day, use your non-desk times to add some walking by opting for the stairs when taking paperwork somewhere or finishing your work day.

How Can a Plant-Based Diet Help?

Are you looking at all of this and wondering if there is anything else you can do to help your health? Once you have added walking to your daily routine, you can make a move to a plant-based diet. Choosing to eat a fully plant-based diet can have long-term benefits for your health and help offset any time spent sitting. Give your healthy lifestyle choices that extra boost by making the switch to a fully plant-based diet. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start by removing all animal products - One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop consuming all animal products. This means meat, dairy, and eggs. If it comes from an animal, you really want to avoid it for the sake of your health. Making the switch to a fully plant-based lifestyle can have a huge impact on your overall health.
  • Remove oils from your diet - Consuming oil in foods on a regular basis can work against your heart health and other health goals. By removing oil from your diet, you will see even better results from your daily walks. If you are missing out on your favorite foods, make sure to pick out plant-based oil-free food options.
  • Eat more greens! - As you are making the move to a more plant-based lifestyle, you will want to make sure to add greens to every single meal you eat. This means adding greens to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. While this might seem like a daunting task, it is easier than you think with great plant-based recipes!

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