Karen (yes, again) put me onto this documentary, which she'd seen on SBS. It's super-interesting stuff, although we mostly all know this already. Basically, sitting really is the new smoking. It is, apparently, the new killer of modern humans.
It's not sitting itself that's problematic, although holding your hips in just the one position for such long periods does have rather unfortunate postural side effects, but the inactivity.
This documentary showed two very interesting bits of research: that you may need only three minutes of high intensity exercise per week to be healthy (HIT protocol) and that we all need to move more (to up our NEAT - Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
We keep still, gunk builds up. Not just the fuzz that hooks our muscles and connective tissue into a velcroed mess, but also fat and sugar in our blood, because our muscles aren't burning energy & asking for the fats and sugars they use as fuel. Humans, it turns out, were made to move.
Whilst coming to yoga class is great, it's not enough.
So what to do?
Well, standing desks are a start. Walking meetings, walking at lunch. Going to the supermarket on foot & carrying your groceries back (I do this quite often, and although I whinge to myself most of the way home, I suspect it's one of the main reasons I can now deadlift 70 kgs. Yes, I can lift more than I weigh) .
Basically, move more.
The truth, according to James Levine of the Mayo clinic, is that most of us don't take any exercise at all. So we have to get more NEAT. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Folks who work in hospitality and are running around all day are prime examples of this. Yoga teachers fall a little lower on the scale I guess, because we mostly don't sit during our workdays but we don't have the same intensity as a tradie or hospitality worker would.
If you sit at work, you will need to modify your life just a little to make huge changes to your health. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Stand and stretch every 20 minutes. Walk to chat to a colleague instead of emailing them. Can't hurt to try eh? In fact, the science seems to be increasingly indicating that it can really, really help.
If you have the time, watch this video:
This year has been one of doctor’s visits, and tests, and surgeries, and medication. I am not ill, I just have what they call a ‘pre-existing condition’.
There are a few things that have been challenging: the main one is that the drugs and surgeries have meant I am often too unwell to move. And I rely on movement rather heavily for my mental health.
I also have a little voice in my head that tells me, every day, that I ‘should’ move. Like it's immoral of me not to be moving...
I tell people often how much I hate exercise, and I’ve said it before on this blog (I’m sure..??).
When I think of exercise, I see it as a chore. I don’t feel particularly co-ordinated, my limbs often don’t feel like they follow the command of my brain.
So how do I trick myself into moving more for someone who hates sports and frankly quite enjoys being in a horizontal position?
This is the second in our 'morning rituals' series. We thought you'd enjoy seeing how we walk our talk in terms of trying to live healthy lives! Mostly, it's about adding stuff (aka MOVEMENT) in with the least possible effort.
People often, often ask us whether doing yoga is enough exercise.
There is a simple and short answer: no.
Why? it's got to do with how much you move in your daily life.
If you battle to sleep sometimes, here are a few hints to help.
I had a sad health incident in February which put me out of action for a month but was not life threatening. As a result, blood tests. Lots of them. And this is what they found: I have two separate kinds of gene mutation that make my blood more likely to clot than a normal person's.
It's likely they caused my troubles last month. And while it sucked to be unwell, I now realise it could have been so much worse.
I seem to have been inadvertently protecting myself from ill effects by living a healthy life. So I thought I'd share my morning ritual, now that it seems so much more useful than it did before!
Set the year up right, Don't make the mistake I made last year, ha!