The best thing for your body is to be as active as possible, and it's important to make sure you’re never locked into any one position for a long period of time. Sitting stationary for hours on end –- be it at home watching TV or at your office doing work -- can cause chronic problems like lower back pain, tightness in the shoulders, and posture issues.
I have a standing desk at work and I try to make the most of it by constantly moving around. Every hour or so I do something active, whether it's going for a walk or doing a quick yoga pose. While you may not be able to do a full dancer's pose in your cubicle, you can certainly hold a nice “tree” or simply stretch your torso to the right and left. When I don’t move around, my back becomes extremely stiff and uncomfortable.
This idea applies to your gym workouts too. You want to do exercises where you’re moving around as much as possible, such as running, sports, and plyometric jumps. If I find myself at a static gym machine, only working out a single muscle group, I’m usually not feeling my best. It’s when you use all of your different muscle groups and get a full range of motion that your body is better off!
Jon is lucky to have tennis -- a sport he can play every day for exercise. Whenever he’s on the court there’s a variety to his workout. The balls come from various directions, angles, and speeds – and he’s always moving his body differently to accommodate them. Plus the social component of having someone else to play with makes exercise more fun as well.
I’ve started to play tennis too, although my game needs some work. Up until now, my workouts have been largely based on running -- and while running is effective at increasing cardiovascular endurance, it does get somewhat repetitive.
Try learning a new sport or taking classes at your gym to add some variety to your workouts. Anything that moves your body in new ways is good -- doesn't matter if it's a yoga class, a salsa lesson, or a boot camp.