It’s a story we hear all the time: Our patients know they need to exercise, both for their overall health and to support their weight loss plan, but it’s so hard to get moving. When you’re in a bad mood, feel tired or depressed, or simply have no energy, just finding the motivation to get moving can feel like climbing a mountain. It’s exhausting, and you haven’t even started your workout yet!
You might be surprised to learn one of the most common culprits behind sluggish moods and lack of motivation. Research has shown that workers who spend the most time at their desks score the highest on tests demonstrating psychological distress. Women who sit for seven or more hours per day experience three times the rate of depression. Numerous other studies have linked prolonged sitting to higher rates of mood disorders.
And it’s not all about your mood. Sedentary behavior has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
So does that mean you need to quit your job and spend your days in the gym instead? Well, no. Obviously, that wouldn’t be an option for most of us. And even if it were, it’s not necessary to go to such extremes.
It’s important to note that research has shown positive impacts on mood when participants engage in even “light” activities, like housework or gardening. Yes, regular vigorous exercise is best for your health as well as your weight loss plan, but any activity at all is very beneficial for your overall mood.
So set an alarm to remind you to get up from your desk once per hour, and go for a walk around the building or simply stretch by your desk. In your off time, avoid the TV and choose more active hobbies. And when you do relax to enjoy some Netflix time, just avoid overly long sessions. Or enjoy some gentle stretches or Pilates moves on the floor during your favorite shows.
For more help with your weight loss plan and getting motivated to exercise, give us a call. We can help you identify problem areas with your strategy and find creative solutions that work for you.