Posted on

How You Can Keep Moving With A Busy Schedule

Many of us spend on average 8+ hours sitting at our desks, traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles or on the couch; top that off with another 6-8 hours sleeping. That can add up to nearly 20 hours of sedentary sludge. Sitting invites stagnation and our fascia (the material protecting and supporting our body as a unit) begins to reshape so we start to take on the shape of our chairs. Our hips become tight, ankle movement diminishes, our shoulders push forward, we forget to engage our core as we slouch and collapse our lower back, and our necks crank towards the screen.
First, I don´t want to take for granted that everybody knows how much is enough exercise. To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic, strength and stretching exercises. If you want to read the full Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, here: health.gov
It can be challenging finding time to fit in errands, work, kids, home, exercise and the million other things to get done in a day.  Time is the biggest barrier to an active lifestyle. Remove the expectation that the only way to get in shape is by going to the gym for an hour every day. This time commitment is simply not realistic for most of us.

Aerobic exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. (See Mayo Clinic Web). To find what´s “moderate activity” try the “talk test”, exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. At this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. You can combine moderate and vigorous exercise over the course of the week, and it’s fine to break up your activity into smaller bursts as long as you sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes. Ideas to add some walks to your day:
  1. Walk while talking on the phone or conduct walking meetings.
  2. Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.
  3. Park in spaces furthest from the entrance.
  4. Use restrooms on a different floor or furthest from you.
  5. Use half or all of your lunch hour to take a walk with a colleague.  Steve Jobs was at his most creative while walking and thinking outside in the park next to his office, and we can be, too. Apple’s founder knew that the body and mind respond to nature and to moving.
  6. Put on some good music and dance while cleaning the house!
Make a commitment to move at every opportunity, stand whenever you can!

Strength training

The Department of Health and Human Services also recommends strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Studies have shown strength training to increase lean body mass, decrease fat mass, and increase resting metabolic rate. Weight training has also been shown to help fight osteoporosis.
Strength training doesn´t mean a gym membership. There are multiple ways to strengthen your muscles at home or at the workplace: bodyweight training, resistance bands, suspension training… Choose whatever best fit your abilities and preferences. At your desk, or anywhere you spend a good amount of time at, you can perform exercises such as
  1. squats,
  2. lunges,
  3. push-ups and
  4. chair dips.

Stretching

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults engage in flexibility training two to three days per week, stretching major muscle and tendon groups.
I know all this exercise seems a lot from the point of view of busy people, but all of it only takes one hour, 4% of your day.
Remember, you can break up your activity into smaller bursts. If your job keeps you moving all day long, activity trackers (apps or wearables) are the simplest option to keep track of it. Forget daily steps and aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking. You do so, daily aerobic exercise is done.
Stretching at the workplace is something we all should do, but very few do. Whether you work behind a desk, drive for hours, or spend long hours standing (as waiters and watchmen), some muscles get tired and you feel stiffness, soreness, and at the end of the day, even pain. You can prevent this by taking a few 5 minutes breaks along the day to stretch and relax problematic areas like legs, lower back, shoulders, neck, and wrists. 3 little breaks and you´d be stretching 15 minutes every day. Examples of such stretches or postures can be:
  1. Doing core exercises.
  2. Stretching your legs and back when you are on your desk.
  3. Using a door frame or anything sturdy to stretch your chest.

These stretches will reduce the negative effects that sitting has on your body. It also improves one’s quality of life.

Find an exercise schedule and activities that work for you so that you stay fit and healthy. Once you learn to make time – and it doesn’t have to be a monumental commitment – the benefits will outweigh any desire you may have had to sacrifice your health by staying on the sidelines. Keep in mind that it is possible to get all the exercise you need without using equipment, attending a class or going to the gym.

The most important key is to change the mindset. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. It should be time for you.  Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself. You are worth it!

Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
Do you think any of your friends should read this? Please, share on your favorite social network.
Posted on

Foam Roller: Calves Relief

You´ll hear/read foam roller is a self-myofascial technique. Ok, self-myofascial release is the term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points muscles return to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic and ready to perform.

Some of the basic, most obvious benefits are better movement and increased the range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout.

We should start foam rolling our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are suffering most of the time.

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.


Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Posted on

Activity trackers

Good morning!

I´ve found my activity tracker! If being offline had something positive, this was it 🙂

I know you all use Fitbit or Apple. I use Withings 🙂 I bought it on 1 September 2014 and it still works. My phone did not last that long :/

Like I´ve said I forgot/lost my activity tracker for quite some time. Yesterday, I relinked it to my new phone, downloaded the app, and even found my 2015 review, with badges and all the stuff 🙂

I think it will be a good mate, looking for a new flat means a lot of walking 🙂

HealthMate

Let me ask, do you walk the infamous 10000 a day?

Posted on

Obrigado, Guimaraes!

Good morning and happy Monday, dears 🙂

I promised some more pics, and I guess this is the best way to start the week. Take a rest under the tree, because the palace is huge.

0g10Palace20Palace5

Taking photos with no flash is allowed inside 🙂

0Palace13

The waiting room.

0Palace10

The office.

0Palace4

The dining room.

Palacio 2

A composition to show furniture from all over the world.

0Palace14

The bedroom 🙂

0Palace12

A chapel.

0g13

Also, look at these ceilings.

Palacio 30Palace3

Let´s walk to the city center…

0g140g150g16

Do you like cappuccino?

Last, but not least, Vila Flor Culture Centre and its gardens. Yes, there are gardens and parks everywhere 🙂

0g30g40g50g60g70g80g90g10

 

Posted on

Catapults and siege machines

Good morning, dears!

I asked for permission at the hotel to take some pics. The whole staff is fantastic and the manager allowed me to share with you this beautiful hotel. As there are other guests, and we should respect their privacy, I took pics of spaces with no people. This is a lounge bar, next to the restaurant.

hotel bar

From the restaurant, you can see the tennis courts. This was yesterday while I was listening others guests in German, English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

pistas tenis

Once at the gym, Joel Silva, Personal trainer at Open Village Sports Hotel & Spa Club was so kind to pose showing you Kinesis, a functional training equipment wich offers an unlimited number of exercises. All the equipment is Technogym. The gym is not only for guests. Also, a club uses this facilities, open from 7:00 to 21:30. If you need to improve your tennis service or soccer skills, this is your place 🙂

hotel gym

The hotel is really huge. I can spend a day taking pics: the pool, the spa, the hall… but I came to visit the city. I don´t know if it´s true but, “Portugal was born here”.

Aqui nasceu portugal

I visited the Guimaraes Castle. It´s small but looks impressive! Also, it´s free to visit 😀

Castillo 2

Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is next to the castle. This is so big that I couldn´t take a decent picture from the outside. For 6€, you can take pics without flash and visit the interior. I strongly recommend you visit this Palace. This is the interior courtyard.

Palacio 1

I would love this dining room if I don´t have to clean it. Anyway, I bet those Dukes knew how to party!

Palacio 2

Of course, the ceiling!

Palacio 3

Also, there is a part of an exposition, “Catapults and siege machines” inside the Palace.

Catapulta

I found a great place for lunch: Sabores do chef, rúa Abade Tagilde, 353, Guimaraes. The Chef Joao Silva is great, attentive, kind and very friendly. I should train With him. He is a really big guy!

sabores do chef chef

How was my lunch? Ox steak with pepper, salad and chips.

sabores do chef boi

And chocolate cake. Delicious!

sabores do chef postre

With this piece of art… Goodbye, I have places to visit, people to meet, and I´m hungry again 😀

I have tons of pictures, but I don´t want to bother you. Instead, petitions? The castle, the palace, gardens, museums… it will be my pleasure 🙂

Have a great day!!