Did you know there are only seven weeks until Christmas? That’s one week more than most fitness challenges these days! This time of the year is crazy for everyone. Events start happening, days are longer, work gears up and before you know it you’re in a food coma post Christmas day lunch.
Starting a fitness challenge now can seem daunting. “Where on earth will I get time to do that and stay on top of everything?” You may be thinking. I agree. It can be tricky to find a continuous 45 minutes to one hour. My fitness challenge is not a fitness challenge; it’s a lifestyle challenge. It is called the 4×10.
The 4×10 is just ten repetitions of four different exercises. What’s the catch? You perform them not during your allotted workout time (if you workout) but at different intervals throughout the day. What might this look like to an average desk-bound professional?
Its 9:30am and you have just finished a meeting and been sitting for about an hour already. You decide to do ten low squats just before you sit down at your desk. There is exercise one done. It’s 12:20 and now you’re thinking about lunch. Before you run off to go heat it up you stand up and do ten reverse lunges. You have had a crazy afternoon and just arrived home. As you get out of your work clothes you jump down to the floor and do ten push ups. Lastly, while your dinner is on the stove and you have a minute you do ten step ups onto your kitchen chair and back down. Done.
It seems simple doesn’t it? Well that’s the point! By breaking up your exercises it’s much easier to complete them. This rationale is backed leading NASA researcher Dr. Joan Vernikos. Vernikos has published a book called, Sitting Kills, Movement Heals. Through her research at NASA she discovered the similarities between Astronauts returning from outer-space and being seated for more than ten hours a day (which most of us are). The biggest take home from this research was that even if you are doing regular exercise it still will not reverse the extremely harmful effects of sitting down for more than ten hours a day.
The way to reverse those effects are to move more in intervals throughout the day. In her words it is about ‘resisting the force of gravity’, not succumbing to it. The premise of the 4×10 is to use gravity as your resistance as stipulated by Vernikos, and implement it throughout your day in various forms.
You can obviously perform more than the 4×10 if you so fancy. The more often you move from your seated position the bigger the improvements to your overall health. However setting goals that are too big are a huge factor in most people losing faith in their health and fitness goals and disregarding them. So start small. Choose just four exercises to do throughout your day.
Please look to my Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/vanessaleonemovetherapy/) and Instagram (@vlmovementherapy) for inspiration and direction on what exercises you can include in your day to day. Use the first four I have described to get you going. Then if you want to be creative go for it or if you want to build on your numbers, even better!
The aim is to make sure that while it is a crazy time of the year you can always do something to add value to your health and wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. You have to commit to doing something. The hardest part is getting started. Once you notice the benefits of feeling better you can always add more. Get involved now and track your progress with me until the New Year!