Sitting is killing us

Walking Creates Health: Part I

Health is defined as, “The state of being free from illness or injury.” Free from illness or injury sounds pretty good. Sounds like how most of us would prefer to be--every day. But health is not a static, fixed point we arrive at--health is a series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life. So health is a living, breathing state of being, fluctuating depending on all the variables we throw at it--some of which are doozies.

I don’t know a single person who is rigorous enough in their thoughts, choices, and actions to be “free from illness or injury” one hundred percent of the time. But I know some people who are right up there in the eighty to ninety percent zone, which is a great place to live. Most of those individuals practice health daily by eating whole, live foods, drinking plenty of water, getting outside, exercising, and getting the sleep they need. These health choices aren’t some enforced protocol to make them “free from illness or injury”; these health choices are the habits of their lives so there’s no stress, no forcing, no shaming/blaming/ugly self talk around any of it. They just live a healthy life and are, therefore, healthy.

That being said, for many people those health practices would feel forced, would feel like a tortuous way to live, would feel like punishment. Would be hard practices to adapt and turn into habits.

That’s why I’m a fan of starting with a really basic, yet profoundly effective activity that’s pretty easy to incorporate into just about everyone’s daily life: walking. Why? Because walking creates health.

Walking literally saved my life during the darkest years I’ve ever experienced and it became the foundation for my health practice. I’m a devoted daily walker.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring how and why walking creates health. We’ll do a deep dive into the benefits we realize for our whole Self (body/mind/spirit) when we choose two simple actions:

  • Taking mini-walks throughout the day.

  • Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

These two simple actions have such profound results its like magic! I look forward to sharing the magic with you here.

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Stand More, Sit Less!

Sitting is killing us. You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it and as we sit here reading these words, it’s happening and it’s true. Here’s the shocking truth about sitting: After just 30 minutes of sitting, your metabolism has slowed 90%. That fact is so horrid it bears repeating.

AFTER 30 MINUTES OF SITTING YOUR METABOLISM HAS SLOWED 90%!

A 90% metabolic slow down is as bad as it sounds. And it feels bad too. Sitting has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression along with muscle and joint problems. And we sit a lot! In fact we sit an average of 13 hours a day. Combine that with an average 8 hours of sleep and we have a day filled with being sedentary. What’s a person to do?

Stand more, sit less is the best place to start. Take that simple principal and apply it to as many hours of your day as you possibly can. Here’s how in three simple steps:

  1. Stand up and walk every 30 minutes. Set a timer for 30 minutes and when it goes off, stand up and walk briskly for at least 5 minutes. This simple activity will reset your metabolism and refresh your thinking.
  2. Stand up for specific activities. For instance, when you’re making a phone call, stand up. When you’re using a tablet or smart phone to search for information, stand up. When you’re organizing your desk, stand up. When you’re meeting with a colleague, have a walk and talk meeting.
  3. Stand at your computer at work. For the vast majority of us, work consists of sitting in front of a computer. Some of us are in home offices, some have private or shared offices or office space at their place of business, and some of us are working in cubicles. Each of those work environments presents its own opportunities and challenges. If your work environment presents overwhelming challenges to standing at your computer, make sure to break up your sitting with the two suggestions above. If, however, your work environment has some flexibility, try placing your computer at a good height for you to “test drive” how it feels to stand and work. Click this LINK to help you determine your the ideal height, then figure out how you’ll raise your computer. I recently surveyed a group of author/entrepreneurs on the subject and was blown away with their creativity. One journalist uses her recycling container, wine crates have been called in to action (empty I’m assuming), others reported using inverted trash cans, and upended coolers. The main idea here is to raise your computer to a good height and try standing and working. My personal “standing desk” is a large box placed on a table in my office.

Practicing these three steps means you’ll be standing more and sitting less, which in turn means you’re taking much better care of yourself and that is always great!