When life comes between us and exercise – Juneathon Days 7 to 10

© Inês Varela-Silva. All rights reserved

It has been 4 days since the last blog entry. Crazy days returning to the UK and immediately going back to work. So far, I have been exercising, but with very different levels of happiness. Thus, the question of the day?

How good it is to exercise “correctly” (i.e., achieving the daily recommended guidelines) if one  is unable to retrieve any sort of satisfaction (i.e. happiness) from the tasks? The answer, right now is: Not good at all!

Day# 7 was airport/travel day. My daughter and I had loads of fun climbing up and down the stairs of the hotel (12th floors, remember?) and we walked, literally, several kilometers inside the Lisbon airport. Plus we carried around suitcases. That was physically demanding, it was fun, and I am happy to report that Juneathon, day #7, was a success. Days #8 and #9 were a pain. A pain despite being able to do the amount of daily exercise that puts me in the category of an “active” person. And, how do I know that for sure? Because I am wearing a “My Wellness Key“. And the key says that I did more than 30 minute of “Play” time, which is a cute way to say that I did more than 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. And here it is the evidence:

However, I did this so-called “exercise” by merely going up and down the University campus, on a rush, to attend several meetings in which I sat for long hours…then went back home and did lots of things that one has to do when there’s a family involved. I didn’t get any psychologically benefit from my pseudo-activity…I went to bed aching because of bad postures, too much coffee, and stress… not because of the good aches and pains that a good Zumba class always brings! Not good at all!

This brings us to a new concept that is useful to retain…It’s not only the amount of exercise that one does in a day that matters…it also matters the amount of time we spend being  sedentary (sitting or laying).

LESSON OF THE DAY: The bad effects of sedentary behaviours are independent of the number of hours of activity. In other words, the higher the amount of hours one spends in sedentary behaviors the higher the odds of getting some sort of non-communicable disease, despite the number of activity hours one performs in a day. So if you have person A and person B who do exactly the same workout routine, but A sits the rest of the day and B moves around a bit more, then A will have increased odds of getting something nasty.

If you are still reading and are interested in knowing more about sedentary behaviours, you can find useful information in the website of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN).

Finally, this brings us to Juneathon, day #10, which was great with a long bike ride as the exercise task of du jour. The legs are now hurting in the right way and the levels of happiness are high. Hopefully they will continue soaring tomorrow, when Zumba kicks-in with a blast!

One can only hope!





  1. anacanhoto · · Reply

    So true – Exercise is more than just moving. It’s about releasing stress, working towards goals, getting ‘me’ time, etc…

    Having said that, I suppose that the key might help us see how to increase activity in our daily life.

    Ps – great graphics!

    1. Thanks Ana. Indeed, we have to enjoy what we are doing. Glad you like the grahics…I use Zen Brush on the iPad. Hope you’re Juneathon is going well. Blogging about yesterday and today right now! X

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