Move More, Live Longer

Move More, Live Longer

You may have heard the term, “Sitting is the new smoking.” Now that smoking cigarettes is on the decline, the next health crisis is too much sitting. Sitting while driving a car or taking public transportation to work, sitting at your work space, sitting in a meeting, sitting to eat lunch, sitting on your transport home, and sitting on the couch until you go to bed. That is a lot of sitting and over time your body can suffer.

These suggested ways to move more may help you live longer. They can take the place of the excessive sitting you would usually be doing.

It is important to note that if you sit the same amount of time but add in physical activity, although good, it will not replace the potential health risks of sitting. So get moving instead of sitting.

A Quick Assessment 

Sitting too much can increase your risk for:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Prostate disease
  • Low stamina
  • Respiratory compromise
  • Sleep issues
  • Mood swings
  • Low productivity

Moving when you would normally be sitting will shake up your systemic functions and force it to work optimally. In Chinese medicine it is believed that when you move you move Qi (“chee” – life force) so therefore it does not become stagnant and cause health compromises. When the body is challenged this way it often responds beneficially. These are some ways you can move more and sit less.

Walking Meetings

A walking meeting is just how it sounds, walking, talking, working. There are two ways you can incorporate walking meetings. One way is if you’re on a phone call. Get some earbuds and start strolling.

The other way is to walk with your team. Even if it is through a parking lot or around a building either way it can be a great health, morale and productivity booster.

A walking meeting is a great way to control your breathing, one of the least considered but one of the most important keys to optimal health. When you breathe with mindfullness, (in your nose out your mouth) you can control a variety of advantageous functions.

In a conclusion of a randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing it was found that,

“Walking with breathing improved heart failure patients’ tolerance of physical activity, probably because of improved oxygen saturation and trusting interoceptive awareness. Walking with breathing also improved patients’ anxiety and quality of life.”

There are many breathing techniques you can easily find and try.

Move Around, Any Way You Can

For some people, simply taking a walk can be a struggle. So don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t commit to a major gym schedule and instead just move around any way you can.

In a study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) by researchers Ulf Ekelund and Thomas Yates, it was stated that,

“The observation that light intensity physical activity also provided substantial health benefits is important for public health as this suggests that older people and those who are not able to be physically active at higher intensities will still benefit from just moving around,”

Activity Prescription 

Sometimes your doctor will nonchalantly say something like, “Hey try to get out more. Take a walk. Play tennis or something “

This is an ‘activity prescription’ that should not go unnoticed. Even your doctor may feel rote in how many people this is said to but it may just be the most important prescription you could ever get.

In many cases, medication is necessary but for some, simple light to advanced strenuous activity has shown in some studies a decrease in pharmaceutical need. This is particularly shown with high blood pressure (hypertension).

In A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of exercise and hypertension by Brazilian researchers published in Frontiers it was reported,

“Aerobic training promotes a reduction in the SBP [systolic blood pressure] and DBP [diastolic blood pressure] levels of adults with hypertension, regardless of whether or not the training variables progression.”

When these levels remain low your doctor may recommend reducing your medication.

It really should be no surprise that moving your body is good for your health. Yet, when we get bogged down with phones, computers, work, family, etc., simply moving our body can suffer. Do what you can using some or all of these suggestions and come up with your own. Just remember, before you sit, move more, live longer.