You Can’t Out-Exercise “Sitting Disease”

So you like to exercise?  And you think you’re pretty active right?  You run/walk/exercise 1 hour or so/day, 5 days a week.  That’s good right?

Yes it is.  And if you do this, kudos to you.  You are ahead of the game….if the game means moving more than the average Joe.  The problem is…..the average Joe is sick and dying.  And you’re comparing yourself to them.  Not a good idea.

Why do I say this?  I’m so glad you asked.

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. That’s pretty common knowledge.  But did you know you can’t out-exercise the culture of sitting we’ve developed in our country?

Think about this.  Let’s say you get up and go work out for an hour early in the morning.  You shower and hop in your vehicle and drive 30 minutes to work.  You then sit all day, 6-8 hours, maybe more.  Then you hop in your vehicle and drive another 30 minutes home.  Now you sit down and eat dinner, then finish the evening up with sitting down to watch TV, or work some more via computer etc.  You’ve now spent 12 or more hours sitting.  Your measly 1 hour of exercise will not offset that.  After all, your exercise only makes up around 5 percent or so of your day.  The other 95% is sedentary.  That’s a losing recipe in the world of wellness.

Instead of thinking about designated exercise time, think about movement.  Movement includes your time exercising, but it also transcends it.  We are genetically designed to move throughout our day.  We need to set up reminders to move.  Using an alarm on your watch or phone is good.  The new fitbits remind with a vibration when you’ve not moved enough in the last hour.  Use those tools to get up and do 10 jumping jacks. Walk around the office.  Take a restroom break.  Walk to the water cooler.  Even taking a stroll around the building or inside your office breaks up the monotony of your sedentary  time.  It’s been shown that two minutes of light activity per hour can lower your risk of dying by 1/3 according to the Journal of Nephrology.

If you’re unfamiliar with the risks associated with too much sitting and being sedentary,  Here is a great link to check out.  I promise you’ll be surprised how sitting affects us physically and physiologically.

And for more ideas on how to combat this insidious illness causing habit, click here.  Please just start moving more.  In my time walking planet earth I’ve seen the huge decrease in activity levels.  A generation or so ago, none of  us had all of the things we have now to entertain us from a seated position.  Heck, even our blue collar jobs have become more sedentary with the ability to use computers to monitor so much in our workplace. It’s a trend and a tragedy.

We are designed to move.  Decide to do something today to improve/increase your movement patterns.  Move well and move often!

Until next time….Be well!