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Old 02-18-2013, 06:17 AM   #1
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Becoming more active in general (not formal exercise)

This thread is not about formal exercise but about adopting a more active lifestyle in general. Over the years, due to lifestyle changes, aging and especially weight gain, I've become entirely sedentary except for my 'formal' exercise time (one hour, 5x per week - been doing this for over a year). Other than that, I sit on my butt all day and night, pretty much, except for cooking, running a few errands and doing some minor housework. Of course my eating habits contributed the most to my weight gain (I've not always been fat) but I think that my sedentary lifestyle is a big factor. I'm currently reading a book that's all about this and has a plan for baby-stepping a person to become more active. I swear that this is harder than following my woe. I got rid of my cleaning service so that I could clean my own house, but I'm getting the kids to do it for their allowance. I have a guy who mows the yard and trims the bushes. Last spring my daughter planted my annuals. I wouldn't describe myself as lazy because I do all our paperwork/finances, have a part-time job out of my house (where I do paperwork), and of course cook, do all the shopping, drive my son, take care of the kids etc. It's just that a lot of it is sitting and as soon as I move a lot, I get too tired and my lower back aches.

Anyone else working on this? Anyone been successful? I've noticed a direct correlation between the days I force myself to follow the advice in the book and weight-loss. Still, I'm not successful.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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Your kids clean the whole house? WOW... they even do the windows, floors etc...- I'm impressed... In my case I am good at doing the daily tody- but the "deep clean" stuff escapes me- ( thank goodness for the hubby) Is there any "deep clean" project you could take on and do a bit each week?.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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I've seen a big difference in my activity level that comes from how I feel on this woe. Before, on the SAD, I would sit at a desk for nine hours a day (I would literally get up as FEW times as possible - for 4 or five hours I wouldn't move from my chair - walking to the fax machine was a chore!), sit in a car for an hour a day for my commute, come home and sit for an hour or two watching tv - get up and make dinner (in 30 min or less - usually something frozen like chicken patties or fish sticks) then sit and watch another few hours of tv or surf the internet. Get up and go to bed (usually with my makeup on, becuase even washing my face was too big of a chore)... and I always felt exhausted and tired and depressed because my house was a mess and I had all these projects I wanted to work on... but no energy (and no time, I told myself.) Now - on low carb - I have energy out the wazzo.

I now wake up an hour earlier than I used to. I put on a load of laundry and do some light exercise before I get ready for the day. After dressing, I make breakfast for my family and pack my lunch. At work I set my outlook calender to remind me to get up every hour and move around - not that I really need the reminder, because I'm drinking so much water that I need to get up every hour anyway!!! I come home in the evening and wash out my lunch box (I used to beg my daughter to do it because I was 'too tired') and start prepping for the evening meal (no more 30 minutes meals for us, meal prep now involves chopping and prepping lots of fresh veggies and marinating meats) once the prep work is done - hubby and I take a brief walk, or work on the night's designated project. After that we cook dinner, eat and clean the kitchen (including steam moping the floor - previously a once a week chore that I dreaded.) Only then do we sit down and watch one hour of tv. After that is over, I being prepping for bed. I make sure that my clothes for the next day are ready to go (I actually IRON now!!!), take my evening medication, brush my teeth, cleanse, steam and moisturize my face, do 10 or 15 minutes of bedtime yoga and then it's bedtime.

I can't believe how active I am now with this woe!!! I feel great, my house looks great, my skin looks fantastic! It's amazing how much my life has changed since making the switch to low carb!!!

I'm very interested in the book you mention though - because I'd like to see what other ways I could improve or work more activity into my days. Would you mind sharing the name of the book?
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Jennbeingme - my kids are 15, 18 and 20. They got into the cleaning habit when I legitmately hurt my back about 6 months ago. I pay my youngest extra in his allowances and the other two are expected to help as part of the college money. I do clean the bathrooms weekly, and mop the floors as needed myself. I have the windows done professionally twice a year but wipe smears as needed. I am going to take back the chores and give them other things to do!

Britt1975 - the book is called Move a Little: Lose a Lot: NEAT How to be Thinner, Happier and Smarter. I really like this book in theory but the actual program might be a bit ambitious for me. Week one is incorporating 3 20 min walks per day. Maybe I need to build up more slowly? Maybe add one walk and do all the little suggestions the book has like always standing when talking on the phone? Good for you that this woe has given you so much energy! Sounds like you are doing great being more active. I love the idea of setting the Outlook calendar to remind you to get up. I didn't even know it could do that, and I have Outlook open pretty much all of the time.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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I also work 9 hours a day in an office. What has helped me tremendously is when I talked my company into purchasing an item for my office. Google Ergotron WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation.... it has been a lifesaver. I now stand aproximately 7-8 hours at my desk. The only reason I sit is to give my feet a rest. My whole body feels better, but especially my neck and back. The only problem is when people just pop in and catch me dancing I've also noticed an increase in energy. I don't feel like holding down the couch as soon as I get home every night...

taken from wikipedia:
Spending many hours sitting each day is related to raised mortality and cardiovascular disease risk regardless of total physical activity. Inflammatory and metabolic risk factors partly explain this relationship.[8] An Australian study found that "Those who spend 11 or more hours a day sitting are 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years" and "15 percent higher for those sitting between 8 and 11 hours".
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Thank you! I'm going to see if I can get it from the library!

I'm sure there is an easier way to do it -but to set my alerts I went into my outlook calendar - clicked on "work week" at the top. Then right clicked on Monday at 9am - choose "New Recurring Appointment." I left the start time at 9am then set the duration for 5 minutes. Clicked on "Daily" in the "recurrence pattern" box and then choose "Every Weekday" with no end date. Once I clicked okay - I set the reminder to go off only at zero minutes - so it wouldn't give me warnings all day that my "appointment" was getting close - then set it to show time as free - in case someone needs me - I don't want my boss to see I'm "busy" for five minutes every hour. I type GET UP in the subject line and then close and save. I did that for every hour from 8-5. And at the top of every hour a message flashes on my screen that says GET UP! It's kind of amusing!

I wish I could talk my employer into that workstation - but I work for a small non-profit that has NO discretionary spending.

Last edited by Britt1975; 02-18-2013 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the instructions Britt! The book mentions the workstation that Harmsway mentioned in her post and also that there are some kind of stepping machines that you can put under your desk if you can't get the workstation. Some other things it mentions is getting up for 5-10 min every hour, which you are already doing, standing when talking on the phone if possible, walking or exercising while watching TV, and a whole lot more. Another thing it recommends in week one is buying a real plant and placing it somewhere you can see it, such as on your desk. This plant is like a visual prompt for you to take care of yourself just like you take care (feed, water) the plant. I thought this seemed a bit silly but I'm now actually going to get one today.

HarmsWay - I read about a couple of studies that have linked early death with being sedentary, specifically sitting. Not just the cardiovascular effects, but that it also raises your risk of several forms of cancer including colon cancer. I have been asking myself "how did I get so sedentary?" and I admit the answer is "the internet" and switching from standing job to sitting job.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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I caretake horses...I spend a few hrs. a day feeding,grooming,and cleaning up after them.PLUS if the weather permits I walk(about 1/4m. down a rough trail)and back up to the lower pasture to check on the ones not in the stables.I also CHASE little grandkids about 4-5 days a week.I NEED to incorperate REAL (weights,zumba,callenetics)exercise into all of this but just havent as of yet.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Wow Kimberli33, what an interesting job! That sounds much better than anything I can think of. I personally find fitting formal exercise in a lot easier than just being more active. It's probably because I schedule it on my calendar and JUST DO IT every weekday morning.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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I work with a trainer 5 days per week. But since I lost weight -- and my horrible lower back pain went away -- I've been walking a few miles per day on most weekdays. I live in a beautiful town and I enjoy walking through the hills around my house because it feels so darned good to put my headphones on and get away from everyone and every thing.

I walked 7.1 miles today, just with my normal activities and my walk through the neighborhood -- I know how much I walk every day because I bought one of those little clip-on pedometers that bluetooths to my phone. I don't take walks on weekends because there are usually more people around, which makes the walk less relaxing for me. And it's totally scary how little walking I do on days when I stay around the house. For example, I walked 11.1 miles on Friday and then .5 miles all day on Saturday just puttering around the house. I live in a duplex so, before I bought the pedometer, I was POSITIVE that cooking and cleaning and running around the house took at least ONE mile every day!

Also, since I started using the pedometer, I've often chosen to walk into town when I have activities down there instead of taking the bus. Somehow, seeing the added miles on the pedometer motivates me to do more.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:03 PM   #11
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By the way, we have a lot in common! I also live in Michigan. I'm also 5'4" tall. I started Atkins at 235 pounds. My extra weight also gave me back pain. And like you, I haven't been heavy my whole life.

I used to be an avid (obsessive) skateboarder all through childhood and my teen years, then I quit when I went away to college and I gained 110 pounds over the course of the next decade after I quit skating. I've been an extreme overeater my entire life, so I'm pretty sure that hours of daily skating are what kept my weight under control when I was young. I think the weight I've lost on Atkins is mainly due to the diet, rather than my workouts or extra walks, but I do think that my improved health, stamina, strength, and feeling of well-being are the result of the extra activity I'm getting. I feel AMAZING after my workouts!
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:49 AM   #12
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Hi trillex - we do have a lot in common! It's great to see how successful you've been, I'd love to be in the 170's! I love Ann Arbor, sorta wished I lived there. We are in Rochester Hills in metro Detroit, which is pretty nice too but sort of boring. We do have plenty of trails, walking paths, nature areas so I really have no excuse. Not to mention that I own a treadmill. What I've noticed though is that when I'm on atkins I tend to want to eat about 1800 calories per day. If I only do my normal water aerobics 5x per week and weight train 3x per week, i will almost maintain, perhaps lose .5 pounds in one week. If I cut my calories to around 1300-1400 and keep the same exercise then I will lose perhps 1.5 pounds per week. ANother option is to eat the 1800 and be really active during the day, such as 10,000 steps or being active in general, then I will also get the regular weight loss. I think at my age (48) and history of yo-yo dieting, this is just something I have to deal with.

In the end, I think this is something I just have TO DO! Another habit to build, even if I have to force myself to do it until it becomes a habit.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:26 AM   #13
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I remember on an exercise forum I was on there was an experiment when those electronic pods came out that calculate daily calorie burn. It was surprising that the formal exercise burned much less than just being a little active all day. It racked up many many more calories burned. Raking leaves was a ridiculous calorie burn! Ha! my mother always told me that when I would be going to the gym. I am trying to get more active also.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeelover View Post
Hi trillex - we do have a lot in common! It's great to see how successful you've been, I'd love to be in the 170's! I love Ann Arbor, sorta wished I lived there. We are in Rochester Hills in metro Detroit, which is pretty nice too but sort of boring. We do have plenty of trails, walking paths, nature areas so I really have no excuse. Not to mention that I own a treadmill. What I've noticed though is that when I'm on atkins I tend to want to eat about 1800 calories per day. If I only do my normal water aerobics 5x per week and weight train 3x per week, i will almost maintain, perhaps lose .5 pounds in one week. If I cut my calories to around 1300-1400 and keep the same exercise then I will lose perhps 1.5 pounds per week. ANother option is to eat the 1800 and be really active during the day, such as 10,000 steps or being active in general, then I will also get the regular weight loss. I think at my age (48) and history of yo-yo dieting, this is just something I have to deal with.

In the end, I think this is something I just have TO DO! Another habit to build, even if I have to force myself to do it until it becomes a habit.
It sounds to me like you have an amazing advantage because you understand your body and you know which steps help you make progress. Honestly, just knowing that the calorie difference affects you and that the activity difference affects you is really important knowledge, it seems to me. Once you know what to do -- which you already know -- I think it just takes patience to make progress. But you'll get there!

And I think progress happens sooner than you expect. It *feels* like it has taken me FOREVER to lose 60 pounds -- I'm not one of the people who lost 15 or 20 pounds in the first month, it has taken me almost 9 months to get to this point. In the scheme of things, though, I still lost these 60 pounds almost 10 times faster than I gained them! In reality, that's quite fast even though it doesn't *feel* fast to me.

Is there anything you can do to make extra activity more enjoyable, so that you won't have to *force* yourself to do it? For example, I've made a really fly music mix in iTunes and I *reserve* that mix for my long walks. I genuinely look forward to my walks because the music is so good and walking is the only way I get to listen to it. Some days, I'll keep walking past my house because I'm not ready to turn the music off! I've also told everyone that I'm not available during my walks, so I also enjoy the freedom of my walking time because it's the only time that I feel like I'm not accountable to anyone except myself and that feeling of freedom really motivates me to take the time and go walking.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmsWay View Post
I also work 9 hours a day in an office. What has helped me tremendously is when I talked my company into purchasing an item for my office. Google Ergotron WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation.... it has been a lifesaver. I now stand aproximately 7-8 hours at my desk. The only reason I sit is to give my feet a rest. My whole body feels better, but especially my neck and back. The only problem is when people just pop in and catch me dancing I've also noticed an increase in energy. I don't feel like holding down the couch as soon as I get home every night...

taken from wikipedia:
Spending many hours sitting each day is related to raised mortality and cardiovascular disease risk regardless of total physical activity. Inflammatory and metabolic risk factors partly explain this relationship.[8] An Australian study found that "Those who spend 11 or more hours a day sitting are 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years" and "15 percent higher for those sitting between 8 and 11 hours".
I've been trying to get a standing desk at work, but so far, only the administrative heads and IT staff have gotten standing desks. The rest of the full time salaried staff has no choice except to sit at a computer for 8 to 12+ hours a day. The Director told me that it's very expensive to get standing desks, and they want to test out the current models before ordering more, and that "probably" the rest of the staff could request standing desks "sometime in the next few years." Since I routinely work 12 hour days and have to sit throughout, I'm not happy.
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