Excess Baggage – Incidentally speaking

Braised leeks with feta, peas and dill

I’m writing this week’s post from the customer lounge (yes, it’s called a lounge) of the local Subaru dealership where my car is in for its first service. While on the subject of service, as you drive through, they take your coffee order (mine’s a black tea thank you very much – which is ready and waiting for me as I arrive in the lounge), there’s a free car wash on offer, and proper laptop desks for people (like me) who are working as they wait. Nice one, Subaru.

None of which is pertinent to today’s Excess Baggage topic – incidental movement.

While I do my five at five each morning (if you follow me on Instagram, you’d see my early morning pics from that walk) and take the dog out for a shorter stroll during my lunch break, because I work from home incidental exercise can be tough to come by. And incidental exercise is super important for those of us who spend our working days on our bums. 

My Fitbit reminds me each hour that I need to get up and move, but if it didn’t, I could quite easily sit at my desk or on the phone for hour after hour and finish the day with less than 2000 steps.

A four-year project fronted by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) (and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) found that following existing guidelines for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity reduced the odds of early death by up to 80 per cent for individuals who spent less than seven hours sitting. That’s not anything new. But what it also found is that that amount of exercise wasn’t sufficient for those of us who spend even more of our day sitting down. 

In short, simply ticking the five at five exercise box each morning isn’t enough, but (according to the study) three minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per hour of sitting will get the balance right and help you live a longer, healthier life. (If you’re interested, the full article is here.)

While drinking more water has the side effect of more incidental exercise through needing to get up to pee more often (too much information?) that doesn’t really get my heart pumping. A quick 10-minute walking walkout, though, does.

As well as making sure I get up and move each hour, in the last month or so I’ve taken to breaking in the middle of each morning and each afternoon with a Youtube walking workout. 

My workout of choice is anything by Rick Bhullar (search Rick Bhullar Fitness or Get Fit With Rick on YouTube). I don’t need to change into my gym gear and because it’s low impact I don’t even need to put shoes on. Plus, 10 minutes earns me between 1300-1500 steps, gets my heart rate into the zone it needs to be in and (possibly most importantly) clears my head.

On weekends and rainy days, I’ll do a longer session, telling my husband I’m off to do a Rick – which is much less exciting than it sounds.

I’ve also subscribed to Sharona’s Hill on Youtube. She also does low impact dance-style workouts but to cheesy pop music (the best kind) and movie soundtracks – think Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman, Spice Girls and 90’s boy bands. 

What else?

I read an article this morning about how new Swedish research has linked dairy fats to lower heart disease. 

Before I got too excited about this, while it didn’t specify what type of dairy was consumed by the participants, it’s thought that it probably relates to the consumption of fermented dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese – something the French have long advocated. Sadly, I suspect butter is still a sometimes food. Heavy sighs. Speaking of which, one of my favourite TV chefs, James Martin, has a new cookbook soon to come out based on his (and mine) favourite ingredient Butter. I’ve pre-ordered…of course.

Recipe of the week

I spent last week at my daughter’s in Hervey Bay last week so was out of routine. I did, however, make this creamy chicken and ginger curry. The creaminess comes from yoghurt, and it was quick and easy to get on the table. 

I also made this braised leeks with peas, feta and dill which did double duty for dinner (as a side with tray-roasted salmon) and lunch – both on its own and again with some leftover salmon broken into it (see pic above).

Next week I’ll check in with progress so far… wish me luck!

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

14 thoughts

  1. I am going to have to check those workout out. I prefer low impact exercises too and I love cheesy dance music that makes me want to get up and move.

  2. Thanks for all those tips, I’m going to have a look at the YouTube video. Also very impressed that you did this post while sitting in the Subaru office! I need to be at my computer desk to do posts. Mainly because I do challenges and the WP apps take a while to figure out on mobile devices! Especially with the ping back

  3. Well that lounge is a lot nicer (and the humans sound it too) than the awful place my car warranty was throough who are basically just scammers. Woo for never having to go back there now!

    I would get so cranky at a device telling me when to walk (or stand or move or whatever). I’m not sure how people like that. I remember having a lock screen move app on my work computer and it drove me up the proverbial wall so I uninstalled it.

  4. You can’t beat a dance style class that has Mamma Mia in it! I’m enjoying your Excess Baggage series and yes studies show that you don’t need to slog out for hours at a time to be healthy. Short, sharp sessions of 7 – 10 minutes can be just as effective. I also agree that we need to just get up and move more. There are so many options available on YouTube for all levels there really isn’t any excuse not to move is there? For me, I know I couldn’t keep up with my grandsons if I wasn’t fit and they are part of my ‘why’ for staying fit and healthy. Have a great week. xx

  5. I was good Mon – Wed this week and achieved my measly 5000 steps but yesterday did less than 1500. I would really like to just do 5000/day for a week but I wondered yesterday – when I was feeling depressed cos of my lack of movement, if I’d be better taking my Fitbit off for a bit and not feeling like such a disappointment when I don’t achieve my goals!

    1. If it’s causing negative rather than positive thoughts, yep, take it off NOW. (Did you like my capital letters?) I go through stages – at the moment it’s helping me, but if I begin to feel guilty or anything like that I find I have to take it off for a few weeks.

  6. What lovely people and services they have at your Subaru dealership Jo! I made a note of a few of your mentions here and I hear you on incidental exercise! Some days I’m really good and others the sunroom calls my name and I lounge about like a lazy dolt. You’re going well!

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