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Healthy Hairdresser

The Power to Move

Lauren Salapatek | March 1, 2016 | 12:17 AM
Photo By Getty Images

Whether sitting or standing all day, maintaining one position does nothing for your fitness but still makes your body ache—as hairdressers know! The solution is to actively move those body parts.

Now that “deskercise” is a thing, with standing desks in offices becoming an option, it can appear the beauty industry has a leg up on the trend to fight a sedentary lifestyle. Yes, beauty pros already work standing up and do burn more calories, but also experience more muscle fatigue, and studies have shown that standing all day triggers different problems.

MODERN SALON’s 2015 Healthy Hairdresser Survey found that hairdressers experience a host of ailments typically associated with the upright position, including lower back pain, varicose veins and sore feet.

When you finish a day of standing, the appealing thing to do is to sit down. But you can’t counteract eight hours of standing with eight hours of sitting and eight hours of lying down to sleep. To keep your body in good working order, you have to move.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is clear about how much adults need to move for minimum health benefits: muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week that work all major muscle groups—legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms—along with at least:

  • Two hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking, or
  • One hour and 15 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as jogging or running, or
  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Those are the minimums. You’ll gain more health benefit from adding intensity or hours per week, according to the CDC, which further states, “The good news is that you can spread out your activity during the week so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It’s about what works best for you, as long as you’re doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.”

“Research has shown that creative ideas are generated from leisurely walks rather than sitting at a desk,” says CosmoProf Marketing Vice President Carolyn Corporon. “Maybe ideas come more freely because of the visual stimulation. When you’re outside walking, you can look around and find inspiration everywhere.”

This occurs because physical activity stimulates the connections between and within the various regions of the brain, according to Nicole Beurkens, author of Wait! Before You Medicate...

“Even a simple activity like walking increases blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and glucose to reach the brain,” Beurkens says, adding that the result is strengthened memory, thinking and attention.

Here are 10 suggestions to get moving:

  1. Keep gym shoes everywhere. Stash a pair in your car and at the salon to make it easy to go for a walk if a time block unexpectedly opens up. Maybe a client cancels, or you go to pick up your teenager from an athletic practice and the coach is keeping them an extra 20 minutes.
  2. Walk/talk, part 1. Get in the habit of walking when you’re on the phone. Pacing during a 10-minute phone conversation will give you 1,000 steps.
  3. Walk/talk, part 2. How often do you get into a conversation with a friend or team member when you realize that 15 minutes have gone by and you’re still standing there? You could have been walking! Grab your jackets, and take the chat outside.
  4. Walk/wait, part 1. Does your dentist or doctor keep you waiting? Are you hanging out while getting your car’s oil changed? Any time you have an appointment, ask the receptionist for the approximate wait time and go walk.
  5. Walk/wait, part 2. While you wait for a table at a restaurant, go out for a 5-minute walk—as many times as it takes until they seat you!
  6. Start a stair club. If your salon building has stairs, post a sign-up sheet or start a web page for every-one to keep track of stair steps walked all day. It doesn’t have to be a competition, just an incentive to get moving.
  7. Walk the field. If you’re a spectator at your child’s soccer or softball game, watch the action by walking from one end of the field to the other.
  8. Enjoy commercials. What if you got up and danced to every song on a commercial? You’d be having fun instead of grumbling about how many ads there are during your favorite shows.
  9. Invest in a treadmill. One Modern Family episode or part of the new Adele album, and you’ve had a 30-minute walk.
  10. Attend a beauty show! Walking is built in when you go from class to platform demonstration to booths in a big convention center. A beauty show is the best combination of fitness and education!

Get Moving at ABS
To get moving and motivated, beauty pros can start by tackling tip 10 at America’s Beauty Show, March 12-14 in Chicago.  ABS is the sponsor of the March Healthy Hairdresser Challenge and has planned special giveaways and activities throughout the show. The first 500 attendees to check in at the Healthy Hairdresser kiosk on Sunday, March 13, will receive a refillable water bottle and Healthy Hairdresser gift bag. Also, all salon pros are invited to take the What Moves You? Challenge throughout March for a chance to win one of 10 free admission package giveaways for ABS 2017 along with the 2016 Healthy Hairdresser gift bag.

Visit americasbeautyshow.com for details.

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