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Why we need to be more active

Our society today is one that is attached to social media and for the most part sedentary due to long hours spent on computers during the work day. Most people may have been fairly active in their younger years but as life and responsibilities consume their time, one of the first areas people generally cut out is physical exercise. If you sit most of the day, you will notice your legs getting tight, your back and neck starting to ache and after a few years of this, physical problems can occur.

How do we stop this from happening? It’s simple: our society needs to be more active. Get up and move.

First step is to adjust your workstation to improve posture and limit slouching and long periods of time without movement. I often tell my patients to set a timer on their computer to get up and move around the office. 

The next step is to prioritize some exercise into your weekly routine. Some may go to the gym while others may want to work out at home. It does not matter which one you choose as long as you are doing something and being consistent. A good total body program that includes cardio, stretching, core and general strength training is important. Picking exercises that you will continue and enjoy might be the first type of workout to try. For example, if you like to be outside, you can join a group that walks or jogs or cycles in the community. Having a group to work out with will improve your accountability and consistency. In the summer, the pool can offer a great place for exercise to add to your routine.  Consistent exercises over a long period of time will prevent injury and improve total body health and quality of life.

The last step in getting back into a routine is to change some eating habits. Many choose to eat a small breakfast or just have coffee and work five or six hours before a medium size lunch and a large dinner.  This should be reversed. Breakfast should be the larger meal in the morning to provide enough nutrients to fuel the body, then a medium size lunch and smaller dinner. Healthy snacks throughout the day and cutting out fast food and fried food are helpful as well. If eating habits are a struggle to change, an appointment with a nutritionist would be beneficial.

James Wood, LAT, ATC, CSCS, CKTP is a Certified & Licensed Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with OrthoCarolina Sports Therapy & D1 Sports Training. 

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