Things I have read and found to be true personally:
Your well-rounded physical fitness program ideally includes all three of these components:
- Aerobic exercise (walking, Zumba, dancing, anything that keeps you out of breath but still able to talk for a prolonged period of time)
- Strength exercise (weight bearing movements that strengthen various muscles throughout your body, including core abdominal muscles)
- Flexibility/spine health exercise (full body stretching)
Yikes, according to some research by the American Cancer Society, one of the worst things you can do is sit all day. One study found that women who sat six hours a day were 37% more likely to die by the end of the 13-year study (men were 18 percent more likely to die). Sitting apparently prevents the lymph system from doing its job (fending off infections by draining waste materials created by infection. In fact, sitting for 5-6 hours a day, even if you spend an hour a day at the gym, is the equivalent of smoking an entire pack of cigarettes!
So…what to do about sitting, especially if your job requires it?
- Get up and move every 30 minutes (maybe stand during phone calls too).
- When you do watch tv, cook fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, ride a stationary bike, etc.
- If you have a desk job, consider a stand up desk or even a treadmill desk.
- Make sure you exercise. It won’t completely eliminate the negative effects of sitting, but active people tend to live longer.
Three Key Book Take-Aways: