The Sitting Disease
If you read my last blog, you’ll recall that it was about discomfort and why I felt motivated to make healthy food choices. This blog is an extension of sorts because it has to do with why I exercise, and hint, it’s not to acquire six-pack abs, though that would be lovely. I think my constitution errs on the side of laziness and though I feel great after a workout, I don’t much care for that sore muscle feeling of screaming thighs and sore lats. The older I get, the more I end up exerting too much of one thing and not enough of another and before you know it, I’m holding some area of my body and moaning ouch.
I exercise because I fear the sitting disease. That’s right, the sitting disease, and I’m hoping to scare you enough that you fear it too, because I want you to live a long and happy life. It’s a fact that sitting for prolonged periods will kill you. A couple of years ago, I saw the photo to the right online, and to be honest, it was hard to look at and read. Click on it and it will take you to the bigger photo. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you look it over.
You back? A bit disturbing, ya? I thought so as well. Here’s an even more disturbing quote:
“For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.” ~ Martha Grogan, Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic
So if you smoke and sit, you best get moving!
I don’t have a set workout regimen; my goal is to keep moving enough that my metabolism stays active and I hopefully stay alive longer because of it. I go to the gym anywhere between 1-4 times a week, depending on my schedule, my body, my time, and my energy. I spend anywhere from a half hour to an hour on cardio, weights and stretching. My friend Roger, who is a personal trainer, shared his workout regimen when I told him I was looking to tone and strengthen my overall body, and it’s been a great addition to my non-routine. I also wear a Fitbit and participate in challenges with coworkers. Fitbit shaming is a great way to get in some serious steps.
Not sure on what workouts you want or need? Pinterest is loaded with how to’s on every body part imaginable, including exercises you can do while sitting at your desk. I have saved many pins on working out and have probably followed a quarter of them. But at least they’re on my boards as a reminder.
Do you sit on your butt all day? If they offer it, request a sit/stand desk at work. I have had one for a couple of years and it makes a huge difference. If this isn’t an option, set a mobile alarm as a reminder to get up every hour. If you can’t move from your station, do a couple of side steps, touch your toes, and stretch your neck and jaw. Go to the gym before work, during lunch, or after. Get a personal trainer if you can. Do something.
Let’s face it, it’s all too easy to fall prey to not moving, and the more you do nothing, the easier it is to continue doing nothing.
Before you know it, you’ll be going from couch potato to exercise aficionado and doing a split handstand against a beautiful backdrop in a public area in no time.
OMG, did you think that was me? I can’t do that, I’m sure I’d break something attempting such a feat! That’s my friend Melissa doing a most excellent handstand, and who seems to have the upper body strength of
five men. This is me on the left; I’ve gotten as far as the wall hold, and believe me, it’s an effort.
Like I said, I workout because I like my life and my people, and I don’t like discomfort.
So if you’re not a natural workout kind of person, don’t despair. If I can hang on the wall, you can walk around the block.