Our most recent post was inspired by the wintry weather here in the Washington, DC region so it only makes sense that the next post is inspired by a beautiful and sunny 65 degree day. There are many people running past me and enjoying the weather as I sit outside writing this blog. It is currently lunch time on this pleasant Monday and I can’t help but wonder how many of these runners are exercising on their lunch break.
Breaking up the workday with exercise is a fantastic idea for many reasons. The body will always adapt to its surroundings which includes sitting at a desk or staring at a computer screen all morning. The day thus far has largely been spent staring at the computer and typing on a keyboard. This causes the brain to increase tension of the muscles proximally (closer to the center) so that it can provide more control/stiffness for continued focus on such a relatively small screen.
A midday run breaks up this cycle and all of a sudden the body is experiencing the world around it. The brain no longer will be stimulated to increase tension of muscles in order to enhance fine motor control of the finger tips and focus of the head/eyes. Instead, our senses are perceiving the surrounding environment. We hear birds chirping and can see far into the distance rather than stare closely at a computer screen.
After escaping the office on a midday run, the body should feel more refreshed and many of the negative effects of prolonged sitting can be negated. However, many people cannot get out of the office for a run in the middle of the day.
Simply take a long walk outside or make a point of picking your head up off of your computer screen throughout the day and take in the world around you.
As I write this, I am aware of the runners, construction down the street, and a flock of birds flying overhead. Are you continuously aware of the world around you? What can you see? What sounds are present?
Being aware of your surroundings does an incredible deal of good so that you are not sucked into the world of your computer. This is will allow you to be more productive throughout the day and more importantly, will benefit your health.