Bryan Harris | Move more, live longer

The word 'exercise' for some people has a negative aspect. I like to refer to it as moving. I just want my clients to move more.
St. John's Morning Show has a new fitness column by Bryan Harris. (CBC)

The word 'exercise' for some people has a negative aspect. I like to refer to it as moving. I just want my clients to move more.

There are so many benefits, both physical and emotional doing just a little movement. The problem I see is most parents and kids do none.

There is a lot of information out there on the negative effect of prolonged sitting. I see way too many people who sit to eat breakfast, sit to drive to work, sit at work all day, sit to drive home, sit to eat supper, sit at the at home computer desk and then sit and watch TV and then head to bed. Sitting is the new smoking.

I tell my clients to take micro breaks all day long. These are simple 30-60 second breaks where you can get up and stretch, walk down the hall, and go get a drink of water. Another good idea is to get into a habit that you stand to answer the phone.

Our kids are sitting way too much, in school and while playing video games. We have been making some excellent progress in the schools, but moms and dads could plan some family activities that promote moving and less sitting. Our province has lots of hiking trails and parks, you just to get out there.

Where to Start:

If your doctor says you are good to go, I suggest you do what humans have been doing for millions of years. Walking works. Just put on a good shoe and off you go.

We can walk every day of the week. Start with a short route and slowly build on the length and difficulty of the walk. This requires no training, no equipment or no monetary investment. No matter what mood you're in, you will definitely feel better after a nice walk.

As well you can increase your daily activity by simply:

  • Taking the stairs not the elevator or escalator.
  • If possible, walk to work or walk your kids to school.
  • Park far away from the mall or coffee shop and walk in.
  • Walk to your co-worker's desk rather than email a message.
  • Walk during lunch and eat at your desk.
  • Make a routine as soon as you get home from work, put on the walkers and get out for 30 minutes. Take the dog and kids too.

Finally, I tell my clients to dump the excuses like, "It's too cold to walk." Put on a coat, hat and gloves and get going. If it’s “too wet to walk," get an umbrella and some rubber boots and get going!

Until next time,


About the Author

Bryan Harris

As an employee, health and wellness educator, Bryan has initiated dozens of programs and courses.


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