Archive | Exercise

DON’T EXERCISE – Research supported!

man looking down cliffThe ‘Don’t Exercise’ blog has brought up several questions, multiple comments, and even emails questioning it’s validity.  From ‘Do you really believe this?’ to ‘That’s great news!’, from ‘What *should* I do?’ to ‘That’s a relief!’

Nearly all of the people who question the truth of ‘Don’t Exercise’ have one thing in common – they just read the blog title and didn’t read the content of the article.  The title is such a controversy and caused such a fuss that lots of readers unsubscribed from the newsletter, even a chiropractor!

A little while ago, another well known doctor and posture specialist, wrote a note disagreeing with my article about ‘The New Sit’.  Guess what?  He hadn’t read the content either, he just saw the image and figured I had bought in.  It turns out, we actually agree that the New Sit is NOT beneficial.

Where do you stand?   

Having read the title, ‘Don’t Exercise’, would you agree with the statement, or disagree?  Are you someone with an opinion and time to write an inquiry?  Are you someone who looks at the evidence or takes time to read up on the subject?  If you read a subject line that says ‘Don’t Exercise’ wouldn’t you want to know what in the world it was about?

I’m writing about it because it’s in the news and it’s not easy to read everything there is to know about sitting or exercise or health – this is your opportunity to get the low down on what the issues are and decide what to do for yourself.

I’m going to come completely clean here – research has found that SOME exercise is better than NO exercise.

This statement is a lot like saying some eating is better than no eating.  Or some water consumption is better than drinking no water.  If you read the following statement, would you understand what it means?

    ‘Cessation of pulmonary respiration is linked to higher mortality rates.’

Yep, I know that.  You know that.  I think everybody knows that.  Maybe not though.  If you don’t know it’s meaning, don’t sweat it.  There are professionals in the field to help translate the science-ese.  Here it is again:  ‘If you stop breathing, you die.’    

What’s the point, you ask?  It’s about understanding what the research has found about EXERCISE and HEALTH.

The American College of Sports Medicine says that the evidence in support of the beneficial effects from performing exercise outweighs potential risks against exercising (eg cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, joint damage, muscle tears, etc) in most adults.  This is a fact considered indisputable because exercise has been shown to support the following list of changes in sedentary individuals:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves lipoprotein profiles
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Manages body weight
  • Preserves bone mass in elderly
  • Reduces the risk of falling in aging populations

These are all good changes for people who spend most of their time SITTING.  By today’s standards, most people don’t consider themselves chronic sitters. 

However, Sitting is the new Smoking, remember?  Sitting is a health hazard.  A study from 2012, linked inactivity to over 5 million deaths worldwide every year, which is more than the deaths caused by smoking.  The new study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, found sedentary lifestyles increase the chances of developing conditions that contribute directly to dying prematurely, even for those who do the minimum recommended exercise. 

TVThe average American adult sits 9.3 hours per day not including commute times or meal times.  In addition, most people watch 3-4 hours of TV each day.  Potentially, you could be a 12 hour sitter, Monday through Friday.

Here again is the list of what may develop in the future (or you may have one or more already) that makes sitting such a hazard.  Sitters are still likely to face:

  • Higher risk of developing depression
  • Greater risk of developing cancer – colon, endometrial, and lung
  • Greater risk of developing heart disease
  • Increases the risk of obesity
  • Increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Susceptibility to muscular issues (immobility)
  • Interference of LPL, lipoproteinlipase (fat breakdown for fuel)

As a reminder, this is the same list of problems for both categories of people:  Sitters who Do Exercise as well as Sitters who Don’t Exercise.

EXERCISE in and of itself is not the solution, therefore, Don’t Exercise!  If you only have so much time in a week, why bother stressing about getting in exercise if it doesn’t positively impact your Sitting health anyway?

The takeaway:  Time to make a Plan about your Sitting Habit. 

As a non-exerciser, add the minimum weekly recommendation – 2.5 hours of moderately intense aerobics, OR 1.25 hours of vigorous activity, OR combinations of both types.  This does not include muscle building activity two times weekly.

What will you do?  How will you do it?  When and How often should you do it?

If you don’t know, I can help with creating that plan – it’s my specialty.  Contact me at dawn@bodywisebodywork.com.

As a current exerciser, here is a very important reality check:  The minimum recommendations of exercise do not counteract diminished health from prolonged sitting.

Let me prove it to you with this simple test!  Stretch your calves for 30-60 seconds each side – I recommend a piece half-foam for consistency and portability.  Sit for the average amount of time you spend in that position.  For me, it’s about 70-90 minutes at a time.  Re-check your calves by stretching them again.  Hopefully, you’re convinced… Please send me feedback on what you experienced!  Calf_stretch

Here’s another reality check:  The body you take exercising, is the same body you use for sitting.  If you do more sitting than exercising, you strengthen ‘sitting’ body patterns.  The test is the same!  If your calves stretch-ability changes while you’re sitting, that’s the movement availability in your calves during exercise.

What will you do to transform to a non-sitting body pattern?  How will you do it?  When and How often should integrate the tools?

If you don’t know, I can help with creating that plan, too – it’s exactly my specialty.  Contact me at dawn@bodywisebodywork.com.

Til then, Happy Sitting!

Sitting is Smoking and DON’T Exercise

CigarettesI’m sure you’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking.  Smokers were such a common sight at one point, even depicted in the movie industry!  After decades of the habit, we began seeing the downside of built up ash in our respiratory tissues.

 

The advertisements about why smoking got the thumbs down were shocking – if it wasn’t pictures of the black lungs and throat cancer, it was the sounds of emphysema.

Today, the health statistics are even more staggering.  When one reads from Medical News Today that a single cigarette reduces a persons life by 11 minutes or a typical smoker has a life expectancy of 25 years less than the life of their non-puffing peers, it is cause to sit up and take notice.  Why didn’t we know this BEFORE all the bad news, before our aunts, uncles, cousins (or ourselves) were already victims suffering?

The phrase, sitting is the new smoking, should scare us.  But what does sitting have, if anything, to do with smoking?  They’ve finally linked it to specific health hazards that also shorten your life span, and shorten it quite significantly.

The hazards list:

  • Higher risk of developing depression
  • Greater risk of developing cancer – colon, endometrial, and lung
  • Greater risk of developing heart disease
  • Increases the risk of obesity
  • Increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Susceptible to muscular issues (immobility)
  • Interferes with LPL, lipoproteinlipase (fat breakdown for fuel)

young businessman at office desk working on computer laptop asking for help holding cardboard sign looking desperate and depressed in business stress overwhelmed and overwork concept

Of additional interest is the fact that there are three from the top ten leading causes of death in the US – #1 Heart disease, #2 Cancer, and #7 Diabetes.

With all that against sitting, we still find ourselves doing it.  The information age has brought us technology, technology has brought convenience, and convenience has brought us to our knees (or our butts, to be more accurate).

More bad news – research is finding that people can not change the results of sitting with a half hour or hour of exercise.  You should read that again.  Research is finding that people can not change the results of sitting with a half hour or hour of exercise.  

The medical definition of exercise:  Physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body.  The two aspects of exercise we most focus on are Intensity and Duration, namely, High Intensity and Short Duration.

Research states that high intensity, short duration exercise does not combat the problems of prolonged sitting.  Exercise, by its very definition, doesn’t cut it.  So while everyone believes in their heart that making a trip to the gym is offsetting that desk job, it turns out they are missing the mark and will still have the same list of problems ailing us.  Exercise is like cramming for an exam – a student may hold the details just long enough to answer the question, but the information doesn’t stick long term.

Will *you* stop exercising?  e8e94f20-90fe-4391-b25b-bba8effe05dc

Many of my women friends would happily throw in the towel because exercise is too hard, takes too much time, and requires a different wardrobe.

I say, ‘Go ahead!’  After all, research doesn’t support exercise making a difference to your sitting, and we all follow the advice of research, don’t we?

I’ll reveal in an upcoming post, what we CAN do – and guess what, research supports that, too!

 

Sit up or sit down

 

IMG_9208.JPGBodies conform to the shapes of the chairs we sit in: What does your chair ‘say’ about you?
If that chair is overstuffed and cradling your body, you may use very little (to no) muscle to hold yourself.

If it has a straight-back, your neck muscles can probably hold your head comfortably over the upright stacked spine – if it’s curved, the muscles on the front of your neck work overtime to support the head.

In a higher chair, it does not require much leg strength to lower yourself down.  If its low to the ground, it takes a lot of muscle to get there (or you just may avoid that chair altogether if it’s too difficult for you!)

Pay attention to where you sit.  Notice how long you sit.  Vary the objects you choose to sit in, from bar stools to Big Boys to… the floor!  If you can get up from the floor, and do it multiple times a day, you’ll live longer!!

If you do need to sit and the floor is not an option, I recommend sitting in a hard straight chair:

1.  You won’t sit too long in it,

2. You’ll have good support against which to stand up from, and

3. You’re likely to get in and out of it more often – a good leg strengthening exercise which will give you good moves and keep you body wise…
#MoveEveryday, #MoveMoreAgeLess, #BodyWise, #AlignYourFeet, #PosturePerfect, #CreateYourLife, #BetterMovement, #GoodMovesGreatLife

Babies Crawl

With our ever increasing ‘sit’ time – whether in front of computers, television, commuting, or flying – less movement means our bodies are suffering in different and profound ways.  Namely, bones aren’t quite as dense as they once were;  muscles aren’t as developed;  even our faces are differently shaped (just look at the jaw line on a Franklin!).

There is a new movement in exercise fitness (pun intended).  Some of the smarter health professionals are getting back to the basics and integrating more foundational movement patterns.  Because we are losing what initially contributed to our development and balanced alignment, CRAWLING is making it’s way out of the playpen and into the gym.

To start off my 2015 exercise focus, #MoveEveryday, I’ve been crawling through the house.  From the kitchen through the living room and down the hall is 20 full crawls.  And just to be clear, there isn’t anything special about it.  It’s just, you know, crawling on my hands and knees.

The results I’ve experienced are pretty incredible after just a few days:  I have this old SI injury that holds a pattern of tension from scar tissue – that isn’t tense anymore;  It used to be difficult to reach the colander on the top shelf – no problem now;  My ribs had a slight flexion pattern that effected my neck rotation – no flexion, full neck range of motion.

The down side:  There is something wonky about my left knee because it sounds like so much crunching.  I have to limit my crawl time on the hard wood until I can get my knee aligned.   But that won’t stop me entirely – show me some carpet, and I’m down on it (with hands and knees).

2015 is sure to be a transitional year – let’s make the Move to ‘Healthier’, together.

6 Days of Merry will Move You

A study performed last year linked physical INactivity to more than 5 million deaths. That’s more than death by smoking. One out of every 10 deaths is due to a person lacking physical activity. And here I sit at my computer writing about this to you.  Guess what?  It’s easy to move!  If you’re having trouble with it, BODYWISE specializes in getting clients moving again. Aging is NOT a foregone and decided conclusion of inactivity and physical demise.

I’m getting up. I’m going outside. I make every action that I DO, a mini workout of it’s own.

To MOVE YOU, I’m offering 6 Days of Merry to Move You specials every day from now until January 1.

Join BODYWISE in making 2015 the year that will MOVE YOU.
www.bodywisebodywork.com/merry

Fast Reproaching

Shore_overcastWhen Seasons Change:

What to do when time conspires against you

The weather is cooling and the rain is menacing.  For many, that means very little  time outdoors.  Less time outside begats less exercise.  Less exercise invites weight gain.  Add ‘The Holiday Season’ and the pounds spike up to numbers we’ve never  believed possible.

Studies indicate an average of 5lbs will be gained by people already carrying more weight than is optimal.  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/the-skinny-on-holiday-weight-gain/

And what’s a few more pounds?  Yet, if you gain what’s typical (5lbs) every year, that’s a whopping 50lbs after 10 years.  And to take it one step further, will it be easier to change 10 years of habits in order to take off the weight?  Most people have a hard time making shifts that create change.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there is a very specific determinant that affects how quickly the aging process takes place.  Thoughts turn to genetic predisposition, environmental exposure, available food sources, etc.  However, the

Lifestyle choices are the single most important factor in reducing age-related body changes.  And it’s not just the choice of which desserts to choose from during the holidays – it’s the choices you make everyday of the year.

Most everyone knows what they should not eat and that exercising is good…

But how does one know  what should be eaten and what exercises to do?

  • First, understand what you don’t know.
  • Second, decide the goal.
  • Third, choose a plan of action.

If you need help, BODYWISE specializes in assessment, manageable exercises, and supporting your progress.  And because of the holidays, there is a special to celebrate you getting where you want your health to be…

www.bodywisebodywork.com/specials

Let me help you!  Make 2015 the year you do it right.