The Germans don’t move enough. This has been shown again by a current study commissioned by DKV. But: Even small changes can help.
Less than half of those surveyed (43 percent) achieve the 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of sport) per week recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s not difficult to incorporate some activity into your everyday life, says Prof. Ingo Froböse from the German Sport University Cologne . His suggestion for an active week:
Daily morning and evening
Park your car a little further away than normal or get off the train one stop earlier. Then walk vigorously for ten minutes each morning and evening. That’s 100 minutes of exercise over five working days. If you can’t do that, you can alternatively go for a brisk walk for 45 to 60 minutes three times a week in the evening.
Stand up! Especially those who work sitting at a desk have to move around from time to time. It’s best to get up once an hour, go to the printer, get water or simply go out the door and back. Since it’s easy to forget this when you’re so busy working, it might help to set an alarm.
You should also change your sitting position regularly. “The change is the essential thing,” says Thomas Schneider, orthopedic surgeon at the Gundelfingen Joint Clinic. “You should also stand and walk around every now and then and not sit permanently.”
So why not get up in the office and walk over to your colleagues instead of calling or emailing? Or simply walk around while talking on the phone and use your lunch break to take a walk and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Go upstairs wherever possible. Froböse recommends 40 floors per week or six a day. Vary: take each step on the first day, this trains the cardiovascular system. The next day, only take every other step – this trains the muscle system in the thighs, lower legs and buttocks. Either go downstairs in a controlled manner or take the elevator.
On the weekend
To regenerate, take an easy bike ride or a relaxed hike through nature, depending on your preference. For those who sit a lot, Schneider recommends swimming or targeted training of the upper back muscles.
Here’s an exercise: attach a stretchy band in front of you slightly above your head. Grab both ends with your hands and pull them towards your chest with parallel forearms, bringing your shoulder blades together.
Correct breathing against stress
Stress is also a health killer, and the following applies here: even small breaks can help. Good breathing is important: If you remember to breathe calmer, slower and deeper in stressful situations, you will alleviate stress symptoms and relax, the report recommends.
“Calm breathing helps the psyche and upper neck muscles,” confirms Schneider and recommends this exercise, which combines calm breathing and relaxation and can be easily integrated into everyday life: For the so-called cat hump, get on all fours. The head hangs loosely downwards and the back is made as round as possible. When you arch your back, breathe in into your hunchback and when you relax, breathe out into your hollow back. Repeat the whole thing several times.