LAOIS FIT (Week 2) - The importance of getting active and reducing your sedentary time - Participant Resources

 Tue, 26th Jan, 2021

Hi everyone,

It was great to see all of you in our workshop last night :). To follow is a brief reminder of the topics we discussed. These include:

  • The changes that occur in our body in response to ageing, physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour e.g. ↓ muscle size, strength, power and function, ↓ bone mass and quality, ↑ fat mass, ↓ fitness, ↓ health, lots more……..
  • Models of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity including screen time, TV watching, gaming, working from home on lap tops etc. 
  • The adaptations that occur in response to physical activity including such as ↑ muscle size, strength, power, function & metabolism, ↑ bone mass and quality, ↓ fat mass, ↑ fitness, ↑ health, lots more……..
  • The wonderful mental health benefits of physical activity, particularly "green activity" or "blue activity" and the numerous green and blue opportunities we have in Laois.

Action Plan:

Importantly we finished with a discussion on your action plan! This included the following steps / advice / recommendations:

Step 1: Assess how active you are by counting your steps every day for one week.
Step 2: Determine if you are "sedentary" (<5,000 steps), "somewhat active" (5,000-8,000 steps) or "active" (10,000 steps).
Step 3: Set a goal.

If you are not "active" your goal over the next 6 weeks should be to become active. You must take a phased approach to becoming active to allow your body to adapt and respond to increased activity.

For example:

  • If your average steps per day = 3,000 
  • For the next 2 weeks try to average 5,000 steps per day,
  • This would require you to walk 15 minutes (~1,000 steps) at lunch time and 15 minutes  (~1,000 steps) in the evening. You can of course walk in 5 minute bouts or even 1 minute bouts if you need to.
  • For weeks 2-4, try to increase this to 8,000 steps per day.
  • For weeks 4-6, try to increase this gradually to 10,000 steps per day.

If you are "active", your goal over the next 6 weeks should be to begin your training journey with regard to strength, balance, flexibility and fitness training.

Step 4: Include your "estimated steps" when tracking your activity.
Step counting devices count steps. They won’t reflect cycling, weights, our training sessions etc. We convert these sessions into “estimated steps” because they all count towards your goal. We estimate that you might walk 1,000 steps in 10-15 minutes and 4,000 steps in 45-60 minutes. So, for example, if you complete 60 minutes of any moderate intensity activity (e.g. our strength and tone class), this equates to ~4,000 steps and you can add 4,000 steps to your step count for that day. Ideally we recommend that you could your own steps for 10 minutes and 60 minutes so that you can be more specific with these estimated step conversions.

Tips to increase your step count:

  1. Walk while you talk! If you are having a phone meeting, or indeed just a phone call, stand up and walk around the room as you talk.
  2. When doing your weekly food shop, park at opposite end of shopping car park in relation to the entrance.
  3. Take stairs instead of the lift. (if it is safe for you to do so)
  4. Walk the dog, they will love it!
  5. Bring the kids for 15 minute walk in the evening. Particularly brilliant for them and you after a heavy day in school.
  6. Do you have 10 minutes at lunch time to walk?
  7. Is there a friend / neighbour who is alone and isolated during Level 5 restrictions who would be delighted to have a 15 minute walk in the evening with you (socially distanced of course).
  8. Remember EVERY STEP COUNTS – take every opportunity to get some steps in.
  9. Come to class :

Your Health Homework For Week 2:

  1. Try our 5 minute stretching routine to break up sitting time (PDF attached).
  2. Try our 5 minute strength routine to break up sitting time (PDF attached).
  3. Break up every hour of sitting time with 5 minutes of movement.
  4. Track your activity for one week using our activity diary (PDF attached).

We hope you found the workshop and this summary resource useful.

We look forward to seeing you in next weeks workshop.

Yours in health,
Dr Diane Cooper & The True Fitness Team.