With ergonomic furniture, you sit and stand properly at work but your body needs more than that. Physical exercise is the best way to increased well-being for both body and mind.

Specialist nurse and exercise enthusiast Angelica Bauer has her finger on the pulse of the everyday exercise that makes a difference**

IT’S THE SMALL CHANGES in our everyday lives that make the big difference, according to Angelica Bauer, who is a keen advocate of effective everyday exercise. It’s about little by little introducing new, simpler routines in our lives which, thanks to continuity and planning, make an active choice for better health. Effective as in “big effect, little effort”, but also cost-effective in terms of time. Because everyday exercise is, and should be, simple –both to do and to find time for. “Cycle to work, get off the bus one stop sooner or take a quick walk after lunch. Skip the afternoon coffee break and go out for a breath of fresh air instead, and use the stairs instead of the lift. Use every little opportunity to create a big, long-term change that can be seen and felt. If you have a sedentary job, take a break at regular intervals – stand up, stretch or do some simple movement exercises.” For those who want clear to their head with a real pulse-raiser after lunch, Angelica recommends interval and circle training in various forms. “It’s short and intensive but nevertheless gives you good all-round exercise. A quick interval training kick-starts the body and gives quick results, but only on condition that you really tire yourself out.”

REST IS IMPORTANT

Resting is equally important as exercise, Angelica points out. Today’s stress-filled society has a negative effect on us, both physically and mentally. Additional stress makes our bodies secrete the hormone cortisol, and too much cortisol reduces our insulin production, which in turn causes raised blood sugar levels, which leads to excess weight and obesity. Raised stress levels also negate the effects of our exercise, and then it does not matter how hard we exercise or how well we eat, because the cortisol breaks our body down instead of building it up. “A short period of meditation or relaxation is a really good thing to find time for from a health point of view. Mini-breaks and short recovery periods during the day are important for how you feel. When you’ve learned to relax, you’ll feel calmer, have better awareness of your body and breathe more freely. The ability to relax is essential for rest, recuperation and deep sleep, all of which improve your performance.”

FINDING CONTINUITY

Regardless of which level you aim for, the best results come from the exercise that you actually do. If your new routines are to become everyday routines, it is important that they give you energy and that you can do the exercises consistently.

“Experiment to find the various types of movement and exercise that you enjoy and that fit into your everyday life. Everything from a low-intensity morning walk to your workplace to a high-intensity run with your colleagues at lunchtime. Whatever you choose, it should be something you look forward to. If you’re a beginner, start gently but never be afraid to challenge yourself. That’s the only way to become stronger, have better endurance and get visible results. The other benefits of a more active everyday life will be tangible much sooner.”

PRACTISING WHAT SHE PREACHES.

Angelica Bauer practises what she preaches. A quick kettle bell session in her lunch break, rather than a long lunch with meatballs. By the way, Angelica is one of Kinnarps’ body models in our black and white campaign photos.

Name: ANGELICA BAUER

Age: 33

Lives in: Linköping, Sweden

PROFESSION: Specialist nurse, with her own company

TO FEEL WELL: I eat well and train about four times a week. I try to keep a good balance between activity and relaxation.

HOW I LIKE TO TRAIN: I mix weight training with group work-outs and some form of aerobics. And I love my morning walks!