By JENNY PRUITT CLEVELAND
The older we get, the more weight lifting we should be doing, so they say, to counter our slowly diminishing muscle mass.
Problem is, I’m at a desk job all day and usually bookend my work days with a swim, bike, or run (just enough to sometimes barely, sometimes respectably get across my next triathlon finish line) instead of a grueling weight routine at the gym.
This is a problem for more than just the decreasing muscle mass issue. My tendency to be sedentary for long stretches is a major problem. Research (like THIS STUDY) shows that sitting for long periods of time can kill you, no matter how much you exercise. The study authors found that moderate to vigorous physical activity does not (I repeat, does not) cancel out the impact of sedentary time.
So, even though I’m swimming at 5:30 am and running at 5:30 pm, because I’m spending all day sitting in front of my computer screen, my risk of early mortality is still high!
Add to that the fact that my time in the weight room happens rarely these days, and I’m prime for becoming a weak old lady who doesn’t get to meet her great grandchildren.
I’ve written before about WEIGHT TRAINING MOVES WITHOUT THE WEIGHTS. But for some reason I’ve been stuck thinking I had to do those all at once, during my dedicated “workout” time.
Finally, I’ve figured out how to kill two birds with one stone. It’s nothing revolutionary or genius. I just set my smartphone to chirp at me every 30 minutes between 8 am and 5 pm. Then no matter how important the project I’m in the middle of, I stand up and do one of those weight-less weight training moves that hit all my major muscle groups:
- Pistol squats
- Pushups (regular and tricep)
- Seated row
- Squat thrust pushups.
If you have extended periods of sedentary time, follow the American Heart Association’s SIT LESS, MOVE MORE mantra. Then you can introduce your great grandkids to me (and vice versa) one day.
Jenny Pruitt Cleveland is a Content Creator in Nashville, Tenn. She swims, bikes, and runs a lot. In former lives she’s been a middle school teacher, magazine reporter and editor, cycling tour guide, and underwater photographer.