The New Smoking

Every since my fiancé got me my fit bit for Christmas… well let’s just say I’m a professional step taker. I find myself getting up from doing a homework assignment and quickly completing 100 jumping jacks. When I blog now, I try (some days) to do so while standing up, marching in place with my computer on the kitchen counter. And then there are the stairs… I find myself taking more trips up and down stair for, well… nothing.

The interesting thing is, I’m not just doing this all for a number on a glorified bracelet. No, I’m doing it for my health.  A few days after I received my fit bit, I read an article on how much sitting we do in America. Let’s just say 2 hours later, I was still reading article after article in awe of the harm I was doing to myself by sitting all the time, at the computer, in front of books, in my car… etc.

You see, new science (gotta love science!) is saying that sitting, is the new smoking. Why you ask? Well, sitting is now linked to premature death. Now before you get all “definitionie” on me (definitely not a word but I’m going with it), let me explain a few things. Sitting, is defined in this case as a life style… think watching 2 hours of T.V. a day, working full time at a desk, making long commutes to and from work everyday. That word premature… well it is defined as just simply early. So let’s try this again… having a lifestyle made of mainly sedentary hours, leads to early death than those who are participating in a mainly active lifestyle. Ahh, yes… that’s better!

You see, research is showing that people who exercise are not that different than those who don’t. In fact, individuals who exercise for 60 minutes a day are 4% (1 hour divided by 24) different than those who do not exercise. SO here is where the whole smoking thing comes into play. We know sitting is bad for us, and if you don’t know this then just hang on for a bit and I will explain. So sitting is bad for us, smoking is bad for us, when these things are done often (and is our lifestyle) the don’t allow the good in our lifestyle (healthy eating and exercising) to do good in our body. It’s kind of like seeing a smoker who eats well and runs every day… your thought is “what’s the point”. The smoker is still putting their self at risk for heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer, even if they exercise for an hour every day.

The same is to be said about “sitters’… even if they are exercising an hour a day.

Why then, is sitting so bad for you? Well you see, our bodies are made to move. When we sit for long periods of time (think at least 5 of your working hours each day), you shut or at least slow down your metabolic levels. Combine this with the lack of your muscles moving and, your circulation then gets delayed. Slow circulation leads to poor blood sugar  regulation and we know from the series I did on sugar here, that this only leads to one thing… fat being help on to by your body.

What happens when we are over weight friends? You chances for getting diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses increase.

WHen you do the math, it’s actually quite alarming… let’s say you sit for 5 hours a day between work and t.v. time… multiply that by 5 days a week and 52 weeks a year. That’s 1300 hours a year… and in 10 years, well it ends up being 541.5 days (13,000 hours). Sitting is not good for us. We have bones and muscles and cartilage and joints and tissue that thrive on movement. And day after day, we ignore our bodies natural desire to move… to stay healthy and to thrive.

So what do we do then to make walking more realistic and sitting optional? Well I want to challenge you today to focus on walking 20 minutes more a day. This can be done by walking in lace while watching T.V., walking to the printer at work once every hour, or by going for a walk.

Check back later and I’ll be posting the easiest workout ever! I found it online and did it last night, again it’s super easy but very effective. The beauty of it is that all you do is walk, in your own home without equipment! Can’t beat that.


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