Move More Throughout Your Day Every Day and Increase Your Life Expectancy
by Amanda Mittleman MS
Today more and more people are beginning to exercise. This is EXCELLENT! But wait there’s more! The human body is made to move. This means that morning, afternoon or evening planned and executed exercise will absolutely help you to increase your energy, your ability to move for the rest of your life and your mood. But if you go to work or home and sit for 8 hours, drive home (sitting) and then sit down to watch your kids playing sports, sit down to do home work with your kids or to watch some evening TV you have spent the rest of your day on your rear end, and that is bad for your over all health.
A recent study of women in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that sitting for more than 6 hours at a time increased the odds of an early death. The more time women in the study spent watching TV on the couch, sitting at work, driving or engaged in other leisurely sitting (not moving) pursuits, the great their odds of dying early from all causes including heart disease and cancer.
But WAIT THERE’S MORE! Even women who exercised regularly risked shortening their lifespan if they spent most of their day (more than 6 hours) sitting.
“Even if you are doing the recommended amount of moderate to vigorous exercise, you will still have a higher risk of mortality if you’re spending too many hours sitting,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, one of the study’s authors, and chief of preventive medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Each of these behaviors is important and has an independent effect on cardiovascular disease and mortality.”
It was almost 14 years ago when Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer and writer, set out to study why people who reside in five distinct pockets of the world, have the longest life expectancy. Buettner called these five regions the Blue Zones and wrote a book titled, The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Long From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. The five blue zones include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and right here in our own neighborhood, Loma Linda, California. Dan Buettner and his research associates interviewed 263 centenarians and hundreds of other people. They poked around kitchens, observed them in their workplaces and examined how they exercise, socialize and de-stress.
What Buettner found in terms of movement was that Blue-Zoners are active throughout their days. They move about every 20 minutes. Blue-Zoners favor their walking before driving; they garden; they make their own break and cut their own veggies.
Here’s your Monday challenge…..why not just make it all week: Move more. Wash your dishes by hand, buy whole veggies and cut them up yourself, pace back and forth when you are talking on the phone, take the stairs instead of the escalator, don’t drive anywhere that is less than a mile away. Practice moving more throughout your day. You’ll keep your blood flowing, burn more calories and engage your muscles all day long! Just by moving more you will generate more energy!