On Friday 24th April, you might very well find yourself sat all alone in the office at some point. If you do, interpret that as meaning: get up and go!
Wiggle it, waggle it; move it and groove it; just don’t sit on it. That is the wisdom of On Your Feet Britain, aiming to free people from their desks for – at the very least – a period of half an hour. Organized by Get Britain Standing in collaboration with Active Working, it’s time to combat the ‘sitting disease’ of today’s office worker and avoid falling into the trap of luncheoning ‘al desko’ for the day. Get some blood flowing in those legs; avoid the spread of those perpetually sat buttocks: get out and get moving.
Now in its sixth year, over 2 million people will be signing up to #SitLess and #MoveMore once again. This might entail simply walking over to someone to discuss a topic you would otherwise have popped into yet another email (really, don’t we get enough of those?). Or it could be a tad more challenging and involve discarding your chair for the entire day and working standing up and on the go (good for the ol’ abs). The choice is yours, but the goal is to keep from resting upon your derriére at all costs (or for a little while, at least).
According to Openfit, if you’re sat in that office chair you’ve come to know so well all these years, you’ll have been burning around 1.5 calories per minute during that time. If, however, you’re wondering about the calorific equivalent you might be burning in pursuit of a more active working day (whether solely for the purposes of On Your Feet Britain or as a regular endeavour), unfortunately the answer isn’t actually that simple. Dependent on your age and sex, your weight and genetic disposition, as well as how much effort you put into the activity undertaken – as a rough guide, walking at a moderate pace can burn around 239 calories per hour (nearly 4 calories per minute; similar to climbing the office stairs, which offsets 273 calories each hour). A more strenuous hike burns approximately 409 calories each hour (circa 6.5 calories per minute). If you’re more muscularly defined rather than overweight, you’ll also burn more calories, due to a higher metabolic rate (yes, life’s unfair like that).
If you want to make it official, your efforts will have to be registered as a company as a whole. Just go to http://onyourfeetday.com/ to sign up in a few quick – ahem – steps.
Perhaps consider it a prelude to the London Marathon on 26th April (though hopefully, if entered, you’ve been training long before now!). Or, make it a day of preparation towards the British Heart Foundation’s National Walking Month, running from 7th May through 24th May. One good turn deserves another and all that…
5 Fun Ways to Get Moving
You’ve seen the posters on streetlamps and the flyers pinned to community boards – although it feels like it only arrived on the group exercise ‘scene’ yesterday, Zumba is most definitely here to stay. And if you’ve never heard of it, then (setting aside our concerns over where you have been all this time) in short: think Latin dancerize that conflates the joys of salsa, flamenco, and other South American musical beauts.
The newer kiddy on the block, Doonya transports the essence of Zumba to the Middle East, coming up with a Bollywood-centred regime of dance moves that are carried out with an intensity and at a speed fast enough to see this baby burning up to 800 calories per hour. Not for those looking for a subdued Tai Chi thing.
Another one that seemed to come out of nowhere at the gym and has since never let go of those with a mind to exercise with others – Spinning (or indoor cycling) is perhaps not one for those who prefer that the ‘oiling’ of their joints be a solitary pastime. Nonetheless, given the pumping beats of the soundtrack and the general vibrancy of the atmosphere as the instructor puts you through your paces, it’s certainly one of the best means to achieve a rock-solid core. Definitely great for those who like to sweat when they work out.
Trust in tried-and-trusted, established wisdom. A low-impact, high-intensity means of exercise which tones and strengthens all muscles of the body, swimming is especially good for increasing stamina and cardiovascular health in general. Unearth your cozzie, dig out those goggles, and head poolside (just in time for summer – fancy that!).
The all-rounder: endurance-, strength- and core-building, fat eliminator, flexibility increaser, and skin rejuvenator through increased blood flow and a hearty, healthy sweat – once you go down the Ashtanga route, you’ll never look back. Sorry, Hatha, but our yoga mats are no longer for you.