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 Healthy Computing: Exercise Time 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
Computing is an athletic event. It requires the frequent use of certain muscles hour after hour, day after day. Fitness is an important component in staying healthy at the computer. Daily exercise is one of the best predictors of health during the senior years. Yet, when we have done working, commuting, and tending to family needs, most of us don't have that hour to go to the gym. Be like most world-class athletes and prepare for your daily event of computing by making exerise time.

How to Create Exercise Time
Exercise can be done as you work or tend to your daily chores. Following are some ideas for exercise:

  • Take a movement/exercise break just as you take a coffee break.
  • Take a walk with your colleagues instead of meeting them for coffee or lunch.
  • Walk up or down the stairs instead of taking the elevator-if you can't walk up, at least walk down until you build up your strength.
  • When the phone rings, stand up and walk in place or do squats while talking.
  • Do a few chair crunches each day to strengthen your abdominal muscles-pull your pelvic bones and lower ribs closer together. Follow crunches with abdominal stretches.
  • Do wall or desk push-offs to strengthen your arms-vary the position of your arms so that you use your muscles differently.
  • Take a stroll around the block with your whole family after dinner.
  • Get off or on the bus one stop earlier.
  • Take at least 10 minutes to walk during your lunch break.
  • Sit on a gym ball instead of a chair while working at the computer.
  • When riding public transportation, place your briefcase or purse between your knees and gently press your legs together, while sitting up straight, which will help to strengthen your inner thighs and lower back.
  • Take a break from computing and make large circles with your arms, circling for 15 seconds in each direction.
  • When watching TV at night, do so while gently exercising, such as walking in place, doing crunches, squeezing a small ball, or pressing a pillow between your knees.
  • Awaken 15 minutes earlier and begin your day with a brisk, 15-minute walk.

Keep a daily log of your different exercise activities and times. Ask a co-worker to team-up with you for support and companionship.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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