[fitness friday] Want to live longer? Get up!

>>This article appeared in my November 2014 Newsletter

written by john c ashworth, ma, cscs


In previous Fitness Friday segments, Leigh Mills and I have discussed the perils of sitting. More specifically, how sitting for long periods of time throughout the day can lead to a hibernation-like state in your body, which leads to diabetes, heart disease and lots of other unhealthy states of physiological being. Even worse, sitting for long periods of time can ultimately undo the benefits from your workout earlier in the day. That’s right. Workout, sit all day long, and it’s like your workout NEVER even happened. Newer research adds to the list of maladies related to sitting and shows us that not only does your sedentary behavior lead to disease but it also shortens your life.

What is different about this new research?

One of these new studies found that sitting less has benefits that relate directly to your cells and things called telomeres inside the cells. Telomeres are the part of your cells that control ageing.

The second one found that even just standing up can have an impact on how long you live.

What can I do about it?

In the spirit of getting moving and getting your butt out of your chair, tonight on NBC15 I will provide 5 exercises you can do in your office. All of them standing, and all of them within arms reach of your chair, so that in the early stages of implementing this new program you’ll be close enough to take a quick break if you need it. 🙂 And if you put these moves together in the way that I will demonstrate tonight, you just might be surprised at how quickly you might reach for that chair.

You’ll have to tune in tonight for the segment, or check back here later for the video archive to see the five moves.

In the mean time, I want to leave you with something to ponder while you’re sitting there in your chair…

Yesterday, I went to go get my flu shot. In fact, I had mine done at Smart Motors, where I work as a sales consultant. No, don’t worry, I have NOT abandoned my life as a fitness expert, it was simply time for something new. Our need for fitness every day transcends life, regardless of your day to day pursuits. Which gets me to my point…

The nurse who injected my flu vaccine recognized me from my regular work on NBC15, and admitted her feelings of guilt now that she was sitting right there with me. Her fitness regime is NOT what it could be. Notice, however, that I did not say, “NOT what it SHOULD BE.” Because I am not, and nor will I ever be the fitness or nutrition police. My job at this stage of my life and career is one of inspiring you to consider the possibility of improving not just your fitness level, but your overall pursuit of life as a human being, and in making the most of this life in any way that is possible for you today and every day from here going forward.

This sitting thing, and the nurse’s guilt are the same. They are decisions. Choices you make. They are not my choices to make, nor my judgments to pass on those choices. They are yours to keep forever. Your reaction to these statments and to the informaiton I present twice per month on Fitness Friday and in my work every day with people trying to improve their lives, or buy a new car, is where true inspiration and improvement in your lives resides. Because if you read this blog post, or watch my Fitness Friday segment on a topic like the one today, and you choose to do nothing about it, well then, nothing really changes. I still appreciate you being a fan, and the opportunity to present good information, but if you still choose to sit all day long well…that’s just unfortunate.

Choose well.

-Johnny T