Recently published on Jan 24, 2015
in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
yet another study has come out showing that prolonged sitting each day is associated with an increased risk of death from all causes…
and type 2 diabetes.
And important to note: exercising did not protect against this risk or prolong life…
…even those who exercised strenuously had a higher risk of death if there were prolonged periods of sitting in between work outs.
Turns out, sitting 6 hours or more a day raises your mortality risk no matter how hard you exercise before or afterwards.
Another study recently showed that inactivity is actually more deadly than obesity.
So sustainable health is not about weight, it’s not about working out, it’s not about exercising…
…it’s not about dieting, it’s not about being a weekend warrior, it’s not about how hard you push yourself on the treadmill, and it’s not about fitting into any Body Mass Index category.
Real health isn’t about a measurement, a weight, a percentage, an exercise program.
Real health is about ENJOYING THE BODY YOU ARE IN.
This is important to understand.
It goes against our societal *training.*
It goes against the messages you hear to “work out 3 times a week and feel guilty if you don’t.”
It goes against the structure of our school system, which trains children to sit at a desk for hours and hours each day and then run hard during PE class for an hour.
It goes against the message of “work hard, play hard…” putting hours in front of the computer (even doing overtime at work) and then sweating your butt off in a co-ed soccer league on the weekends.
This is NOT healthiest in the long run.
It’s awesome if you love working out hard and playing sports.
Being active is always going to be awesome.
But it’s NOT awesome to sit for more than a few hours at a time.
We are simply not meant to sit in one place for hours.
Sitting for more than 6 hours of your waking day is more predictive of poor outcome in serious disease than any amount of exercise that you can do.
Almost a year ago I blogged about how just walking — just getting up and walking — is one the best things you can do to ensure and enhance recovery from cancer… better than any chemotherapy we have to date!
Almost a year ago I also reported on this medical study, which similarly reported that it’s not about how hard you exercise, it’s simply about moving your body often throughout the day.
I’ve even already blogged about how obesity does NOT need to increase your mortality risk… and in fact, may decrease it!
And with this latest medical study, I want to remind you of it again.
Because I want to decrease your stress.
Decrease how hard you are on yourself when you don’t reach your exercise goals.
Decrease your self recrimination if you don’t exercise at all.
Decrease your focus over the number on the scale.
It’s not about pushing your body to the limit and being perfect with an exercise routine each week.
In fact, it’s better to just get up and stretch throughout the day, take a walk at lunch, take the steps instead of the elevator, throw the frisbee with your kids after dinner and do a few yoga poses before bedtime then it is to hit the gym hard for an hour that day and then feel “off the hook” and sit sedentary for the rest of the day.
I want you to refocus your health goals in a way that will optimize your natural Well Being.
Refocus on what really matters… a positive connection to the body you wear each day.
Health is about moving your body.
Health is about flow.
Health is about feeling the joy of using your body to complete the activities you’d like to do each day.
Health is about zoning out less (in front of the TV, the computer, the gaming system) and about appreciating the skin you are in MORE.
These studies show that it’s not about being super thin
or getting super fit… it’s about gratitude
for the body we have, making peace with
the natural set point our body enjoys,
and using our body as a tool for enjoying life.
This goes against the corporate world, which would have you sit at your computer working around the clock.
And it goes against the factory model, which would have you performing the same task over and over again, uninterrupted, without breaks, all shift long.
And it goes against the school system, which would have your child remain quietly seated from roughly 8 AM to 3 PM on a daily basis.
…how can they even justify the sedentary “sit still at your desk with only a half hour for lunch!” parameter of traditional school any longer..
… even MEDICATING children so that they will sit still…
…when these studies and many others have just proven that sitting still is the biggest threat to our life span than any other parameter?!?!)
Truly… it goes against the design of our body.
It goes against our natural birthright of health.
This model of health — to sit still in school or at work for 90% of your day and then push yourself to get in that cardio for 10% of the day during PE or at the gym — is not supportive of your heart health.
It is not supportive of your metabolism.
It is not supportive of your weight goals or your longevity.
So today, I don’t you to worry about exercising.
Today, I hope you’ll move your body because it feels good to stretch,
because it increases your energy level to walk around and get fresh air,
and because it helps you sleep better at night to have gotten a bit of sunshine during the day.
Enjoy living in your body, my friend.
Treat it right.
All you’ve got to do is stand up and walk around a bit every hour or two.
If you do that, you’ve done more to protect your long term health then you could ever do trying to reverse 6 hours of sitting by hitting the gym.
Our bodies don’t work like that… and now that you know it… you don’t have work like that either.
Will Bally’s or Curves for Women or Nike like this news?
But if you know loved ones who need this information to release exercise struggles and make a *real* difference to their long-term health… share this post with them.
Encourage them to simply feel the full range of movement within their body today… and too fully release the negative focus on exercise, weight and dieting rules once and for all.