Great news from London today! Gyms can reopen on the 3rd December, with less office parties and overindulgence, this could be your healthiest Christmas ever! With winter weather, shorter days and options to exercise being somewhat limited at present, it is more vital than ever that we make the effort to do as much we can. The NHS recommends all adults should aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still and ideally, 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
These exercises should include strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) on at least 2 days a week.
On top of this they encourage us to reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
Do you meet this criterion?
Working from home has its advantages, but also its downfalls. Although I manage a run every morning and stretch/exercise at least 20 minutes per day, the vast majority of my day is spent sitting at my desk, which according to Dr James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic is not good for my health.
"Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death. The chair is out to kill us.
With all the fears and health scares we are living through this year, you probably do not think about your chair as one of the biggest potential threats to your health. Research has shown that we can reduce our chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and back pain, with one simple lifestyle change: reduce the time you spend sitting.
Just as exercise cannot override the effects of a bad diet, research shows that although exercise is good for you, it does not negate the damage done by extended periods of sitting.
Professor Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., from the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre, “The cure for too much sitting isn’t more exercise. Exercise is good, of course, but the average person could never do enough to counteract the effect of hours and hours of chair time.”
With plenty more desk hours ahead for me, I am investing in standing desk, if only to take some pressure of my lower back and lengthen my hip flexors to improve my posture, golf swing and running ability! Perhaps 2021 will be the year that we all sit less and move more, don’t forget, our body is a perpetual motion machine, movement is medicine, motion is lotion!
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