“When did that happen?” I said out loud to my mirror as I looked at a new roll of something forming near my hips. I also had the thought: “Is my stomach sticking out more?”

It seemed to me that changes were happening more rapidly than they had in the past. Ahem, gravity tugging and the constant progression of time will do it every time. Sherlock, I think I got this one.

I am mostly a regular exerciser, but in the last year I have been living in a new place.  This meant, I had walked away from a regular routine—inexpensive personal training classes—and had not found an equivalent replacement. Months later, I noticed changes I didn’t like. I didn’t take much action. Guess what happened next? It got worse!

I eventually reached a “I-have-to-do-something-and-how” point (summer is fast approaching).

I looked at my reflection in the mirror: “Yep, I gotta do something!”

As I said before,I was already doing something, but it was no longer enough. My new regime consisted of walking and well, sort of jogging. I also took an aerial yoga class on Tuesday mornings. But, I wasn’t doing squats and strength training anymore.

What’s a girl to do?

Not able to squeeze another drop out of my schedule and keep my sanity, I started thinking about things to do that wouldn’t take “more time.”

While watching a rerun of The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, I was reminded of something a good friend told me one night at dinner: “I’ve been sitting on a ball for 10 years?”

“What? What does that even mean?”

“Instead of using a chair at my desk, I sit on a ball. It’s called a desk chair ball or a stability ball.”  He continued: “Really develops your core.”

I did find it interesting, but at the time I was more pleased with my core. Timing is everything, right?

I am watching the movie and one of the characters says in passing while at work: “You know, sitting is the new smoking.” Of course, they were talking about people who stand at their desks and work, but standing at my desk all day is not an option I would even consider.

Then, I remembered: “Desk chair ball! I can get one of those!”

What else can I do?

I started thinking of other shortcuts. I thought of adding ankles weights throughout the day. When checking out the research, I decided it might not be a good idea after all. Apparently, the added pressure to your joints might cause issues, if not immediately then later. And there was this bit about irregular muscular formations. Nope, don’t want to risk that.

My next idea was a better one. “I will buy five and 10 pound dumbbells.” My plan: “When I am walking from room to room, I can pick up my weights and do some curls or overhead lifts.”

Ready for summer time …

With a new plan in place that didn’t break the bank or pack my already full schedule, I will be better prepared for shorts and short sleeves … of course, ball sitting is only a small piece of the puzzle. But add all of the individual pieces together … and it does make a difference. Well, at least it did for this author.

Tips to help you get over your sitting sickness …

  1. It’s cheaper to purchase an exercise ball than a stability ball. The stability balls range in price from $70 to over $100. I purchased my exercise ball for under $15.
  2. You’ll need to ignore size recommendations, if you decide to buy an exercise ball. You will probably find an exercise ball designed for tall men more fitting for a desk chair replacement.
  3. You’ll want to start off slowly. Set an alarm and sit for one hour. Eventually, you will be able to sit for longer periods of time.
  4. If you find that it is too challenging to keep yourself sturdy. There are stands to provide more stability.
  5. If you want to add weight lifting to your regime and are on a tight budget, you can substitute dumbbell weights for others things, like bottles of water, books, bags of fruit, detergent and canned vegetables just to name a few.

This article by Allyn Evans first appeared in Her’s Magazine (hers-magazine.com) in May 18, 2016.

Allyn Evans