Stand & Stay Healthy: My DIY Standing Desk

Yesterday NPR released THIS ARTICLE about how sitting at desks (aka sedentary lives) are “killing us,” and how moving can stop the death march.

While I think it’s a little overly dramatic, research has proven that the average American lifestyle includes about 15 hours work of sedentary time (including sleeping). On the bright side, research has also found that taking small breaks from sitting (no matter how long the break) is associated with lower waist circumference (how round you are), triglycerides (how much fat is in your blood stream) and and blood glucose (how much sugar is in your blood stream) levels.

However, as the NPR article points out…no one is really shouting from the mountain tops how long breaks should be or what the best practices are for getting in more active time.

The not-so-popular truth is we as individuals need to start taking responsibility for our health and realizing that it took a long time to build our bad habits… so it may take awhile and some serious effort to break them.

Weight loss and health doesn’t come from 1 hour at the gym after a 1 hour commute (where we sit), a desk job (where we sit), and another 1 hour commute home (while we, yes, sit). It takes some creativity! Some ingenuity! And, gasp… some forethought!

So, not that it’s any sort of a best practice, but here is how I keep active.

1.) I built myself a standing desk. I literally googled DIY Standing Desk… It cost $22 🙂

Standing Desk

It’s not an fancy-schmancy automatic one, so it takes a little effort to set it up. But, I usually set it up after lunch and stand for the rest of my afternoon.

2.) I park my car about 10 minutes away from the door to my office… on purpose.

3.) I drink a lot of water. It’s a win-win situation… I’m properly hydrated AND the bathroom is about a 2 minute walk out of my office.

4.) I schedule my exercise, I make it social, and I do things that I enjoy! My calendar lis filled with appointments for after work run clubs, biking meet ups, and occasional lunch breaks where I leave the office to go swim some laps. I enjoy meeting up with people to play volleyball, go hiking, or go explore a new part of town. I decided a long time ago that if I didn’t choose activities that I enjoyed doing, I’d never do them. 

5.) I hang out with other active people. Now, I realize you can’t just easily change your friend group and you definitely can’t change your family. But, research also suggests that the old phrase, birds of a feather flock together, is very true. Want to be more active? Find people who want that for themselves too!

6.) I stand whenever possible. Out with friends at a bar?… No stool for me thanks. Riding the subway or bus? You can have this seat Ms. Parks. Bout to board a plane? I’m the last person on and I circle the terminal during layovers.

7.) I protect my sleep! How does that help being active you ask? Well, if you’re not getting adequate or restful sleep, you’re not going to want to be active the next day! I spray my sheets with relaxing lavender linen spray and/or I diffuse some relaxing scents in my bedroom before bed.

I LOVE SLEEP! 

Linen Spray

What do you do to stay active?

Change & Chewsday

I love inspirational quotes, mantras, verses, and anything else that makes you go “yea, right on!” when you read it. One in particular came to mind this morning as I substitute taught a fitness class…

gretzky

To be honest the first quote that came to mind is “sticks and stones may breaks my bones buuuuttt…” this one seemed more positive 😉 There are people that HATE change mainly because they are unwilling to try anything new, and a met one of those ladies today in the locker room after class. All that came to mind is, if we repeatedly do the same things over and over again (no matter if it’s fitness related or not) eventually we become numb to them. And last time I checked being numb, stale, or constantly maintaining the status quo in lift is not only boring, but also unhealthy. I’ll add one more mantra for good measure… variety is the spice of life! So, here’s to trying something new and not whining when you’re forced to do it 🙂

What’s one thing you can change TODAY that will make your life healthier, more fun, or just spice things up?

Well, you could make a new recipe! I put a new twist on one of my favorite bake-ahead recipes (I usually cook 2-3 recipes the first weekend of the month and then freeze half or more for quick lunches/dinners) and I thought I’d share it!

textmexpeps

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Filling:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1/2C brown rice dry (par-boil it…aka cook it halfway)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced or grated)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP oregano (mexican if you have it)
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced (this is where you can control the spice!)
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 small can (6-8oz) of tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 green peppers, cleaned

Sauce:

  • 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 TBSP of the adobo sauce from the chipotles
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl mix all ingredients except peppers and crushed tomatoes together until well incorporated. Place peppers upright in a baking dish. Fill evenly with meat mixture (I used a medium ice cream disher to be sure they were all evenly filled…two scoops each!). Mix sauce ingredients until desired spiciness. Pour over peppers. Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until peppers are soft and meat is fully cooked.

As you can see I enjoy mine over a bed of spinach. 🙂 They’re the perfect lunch option! One pepper is about 250 calories: 15g of protein, 13g of fat and 19 carbs.

Buen provecho!