Why your health is in danger and what you can do about it…

slouched woman at deskDid you know that worldwide, 9% of premature deaths a year are a result of this? That’s over 5 million people!!

That’s staggering!

This can massively increase your risk of getting cancer and heart disease.

This can contribute to diabetes.

This can cause liver problems.

This can lead to muscle wastage.

Am I just the harbinger of bad news today?!

As always, I like to give you something to think about and then (hopefully) act upon.

This seems such a harmless habit to us that we take it for granted.

What am I talking about?

Sitting too much!!! Or inactivity if you like.

In today’s world, we sit a lot! We sit at work for hours; in our cars stuck in traffic jams; on the sofa watching TV for long periods of time; at the dinner table for our meals.

I’m sure our ancestors didn’t sit for too long – well, they were hunting, chasing, running, gathering, jumping. In fact, they were probably extremely fit and strong.

How the world has changed! Unfortunately, we’re victims of our technological advancements.

Employers now expect us to sit at a desk for 8 hours without a decent break.

Huge amounts of traffic on the roads means that we become stuck in traffic queues every single day.

The wide variety of TV channels means that we sit at home on the sofa for 5 or 6 hours every evening.

When we sit for long periods, some of our muscles become short and tight. Some muscles become overstretched and weakened. Some muscles become stressed and cause joint pain.

Our spine becomes arched because we sit in a crouched position without even thinking. We end up with back problems and, if you’ve experienced these, you’ll know that a ‘bad back’ can drag you down.

Your lungs have to work harder because your chest cavity becomes smaller – possibly leading to breathing difficultites.

You’ll most likely put on weight when you sit a lot. Your fat busting enzymes become deactivated when you’re not moving meaning the fat cells continue to float around your blood vessels.

Our body isn’t built for such a sedentary existence.

The opposite is actually true – the human body is built to move!

Our blood depends on our movement. Our nerve cells expect us to move. Our bones and joints are healthier because of movement. Our muscles become stronger with movement.

Here’s a very good video from TED that explains it in a nutshell –> https://youtu.be/wUEl8KrMz14

Luckily though, the solutions to this mounting threat are simple and intuitive.

Here are my 10 tips for keeping active:

1. If you have no choice but to sit, avoid slouching and sit up with a straight spine. Just be aware of your posture. Keep your head up and back rather than down and forward.
2. Set yourself a reminder to get up every 30 minutes and walk around, do a few squats, calf raises or leg stretches. Nip to the toilet on the next floor so you climb some stairs.
3. Plan a daily brisk walk. If you don’t plan it, you’ll not do it.
4. Get a dog!
5. Walk to your local shops rather than jumping in the car.
6. Stand up when taking phone calls.
7. Get an App for your phone and record 10,000 steps every day – that’s about 5 miles.
8. Get a FitBit to record your activity.
9. Sign up to a gym to lift weights, to do interval training, to strengthen your core muscles.
10. Join a walking group.

Talking of lifting weights, my next Women’s 28-Day Weight Training Challenge starts on 9th May. This will definitely counteract any negative effects of sitting too long.

Just have a look here –> WEIGHT TRAINING CHALLENGE

Just keep moving!

Thanks
Paul

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