Cardio for Lazy Days!
Are you suffering from the mid-winter blahs? A bad case of don't want to get off your couch? Blanket-itis? Me, too. Seriously. I know this is my job, but I absolutely HATE winter and I hate being cold even more. Which means it's really easy to get stuck on my couch because I'm too cold to want to get up. Trust me, my heart says, You love to exercise! Just get up and go! But my head is saying, STOP! It's too cold!
We all know the benefits of getting in adequate steps per day (and the repercussions of not) with sayings surfacing such as "Sitting is the new smoking." The old adage was 10,000 steps per day for optimal health and avoidance of disease, however some newer research is suggesting that this may not even be enough (I know, this is so frustrating to hear just when you were getting on the 10,000-step bandwagon!). A 2017 study found that postal workers who took 15,000 steps per day had relatively normal body mass index, trim and healthy waistlines, and normal metabolic profiles. On the other hand, the most sedentary workers had larger waistlines, higher BMIs, and inferior blood sugar and cholesterol. (You can check out more info on the study here.)
I personally aim for a bare minimum of 10,000 steps per day and do my best to get in as many as I can, whether through formal exercise (e.g., running, walking, or the elliptical) or activities of daily living (e.g., cleaning, running errands). But I have my days where it's just plain hard - I might have had a slower day at work, or less errands to run.
So for those really horrible days when I am just not getting my steps in, I have discovered a neat little gizmo: the Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper! This handy little gadget slides onto a shelf in my living room and I can slide it out at a moment's notice to get some more steps in. There are no handles that require lots of storage room and it is literally whisper-quiet. (And, no, I am not an ambassador for this company or product. I do, however, have it on my Trainer Sarah list of recommended products on Amazon, which you can find here.)
Last week, during the first week of the Winter Olympics (of which I am a mega fan and become a super couch potato), I realized just how pathetically low I was on steps I was, I pulled out my handy new stepper (which, as an added bonus, comes in my favorite color of pink! 😉) and finished off my 10,000 in about a half-hour. It is easy enough that I could do while watching TV and broke a little sweat. You could certainly talk to someone or watch your kids playing while doing it and, again, it makes absolutely no noise! Best of all, it cost me less than $40 and it was pretty fun! (Full disclosure: It doesn't only come in pink.)
If you are looking for a super inexpensive piece of cardio equipment that takes up about a square foot of space, the Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Twist Stepper is an excellent option to consider. I would not make this my main form of cardio (as most of you know, I always espouse good old-fashioned walking, as well as running) but it's a great way to mix up your training and also get extra steps when you want to stay in the living room or be close to the rest of the family.
So keep getting those steps and don't let a little case of winter blahs stop you!
In good health,