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Small Changes, Big Impact

It’s the little things that count, like taking the stairs or taking the elevator.

Sometimes finding the time to exercise can be a challenge, but fitting it into your day can save you time later on and improve your productivity at work. A recent study looked at hospital workers who took the stairs instead of the elevator. On average, they saved 15 minutes a day!  CMAJ. 2011 Dec 13;183(18):E1353-5.

One added benefit of these little bursts of exercise: you burn more calories, an estimated 5x more than simply standing and waiting for the elevator. It might seem small, but these small bursts of exercise add up over time.

The same principal goes for Pilates. It is the cumulative time you spend holding in your core and maintaining proper posture that matter most, not simply the time you spend in Pilates class. I notice in my own clients that the ones who maintain awareness of their posture throughout the week progress faster in Pilates class (aka fast pass to flatter abs, toned arms, and shapely legs/hips).

So next time you’re waiting for the elevator with your shoulders hunched, your head forward, and your stomach hanging out, make the choice to stand tall with your core engaged and take the stairs!

I just get a kick out of this old advertisement, courtesy of National Geographic.

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

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