One Healthy Change: Get up and move

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tips for exercise on road trips
Don’t keep driving. Get out of the car and move!

How many hours a day do you spend sitting? After reading August’s One Healthy Change a Month Challenge, you’ll understand why it’s so important to get up and MOVE.

My guess is that you already know that sitting for too long is not your friend when it comes to maintaining or losing weight. But did you know that prolonged sitting is actually bad for your health? According to an article at Time Magazine’s online site, even regular exercisers are at risk from prolonged sitting (citing from the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study). The article explains that staying seated for too long disrupts metabolic functions, which can cause increased triglyceride levels, decreased insulin resistance as well as a decrease in levels of “good” cholesterol. And that doesn’t even address the issue of vascular health. Are you a shallow breather? Blame prolonged sitting. What’s a boomer to do? Get up and MOVE!

At home or in the office:

When I’m writing an article, it’s not unusual for an hour to go by, or even more, before I look at the clock and realize that I’ve been sitting for a prolonged amount of time. I bet the same thing happens to you when watching a favorite movie or reading a book. We’re doing it all wrong, folks.

  • Sitting at the computer? Set a timer (cell phones have timers) for one hour, then take a movement break.
  • Move your laptop to the kitchen counter and work standing up to change things around.
  • Watching TV or a movie? Move around on a Fitness Ball every 30 minutes or so. Do stretches, abdominal exercises or pushups during the commercials. Make it a challenge to see how many crunches or pushups you can do until the program comes back on.
  • Wear a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Wristband to track your activity during the day. (I’m definitely buying one of these).

On the road, in the air or on the ship:

There’s no excuse for staying sedentary while traveling. All it takes is planning a strategy before leaving home.

  • After 90 minutes in the car, stop to stretch and move. It will take longer to arrive at your destination but your body will thank you.
  • Bring a pedometer (or use the FitBit mentioned above) to count your steps. 10,000 steps a day is considered healthy according to Shape Up America.
  • Walk for 15 to 20 minutes after every meal stop before getting back in the car.
  • Build in active days on a long road trip.

Do-it-yourself: bring an exercise DVD. I’m a big fan of Zumba Fitness DVD’s or bring along a portable gym like this one from Go Fit .

  • On the plane (and I find this one so hard to follow on International flights), follow the above advice for road trips—get up and move every 90 minutes. At the very least, do feet and leg exercises while in your seat.
  • Use the exercise facilities in your hotel or on the ship.
  • Take the stairs on cruises rather than using the elevator.
  • Book active excursions that will keep you moving.

Do you have tips to help us get up and move? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email with your comments or questions.

And here’s another way to ramp up your activity. Join me in the Get Moving Challenge at My Well-Being Powered by Humana for daily emails on how to keep on track, a personalized dashboard, healthy recipes and 10-minute video workouts. Hurry, the challenge starts on September 1, 2013.

It’s not too late to join our challenge. Click on One Healthy Change a Month to read more.

I have included an Amazon Link to Fitness ball, Fitbit, Zumba DVD and Go Fit for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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