Category: Exercise

sitting down is bad

Why is Sitting Down So Bad For Your Health?

How Sitting Affects Your Health

Couch potatoes and office workers: beware of sitting disease! Even those that take time each day for exercise can become a casualty of this condition, medically defined as the ill effects that living a sedentary life can cause to our bodies.

And sadly, that daily run or workout in the gym may not be enough to compensate for all the other hours in a day we are sitting still. Why? It’s all about math.

Suppose you exercise the recommended 30 minutes a day, five days a week for a moderate lifestyle. Out of your 168 hour week, you are intentionally moving for 2 ½ hours. If you have a sedentary desk job and like to relax at night in front of the tube, that could mean that your body is relatively still for 90 percent or more of the week!

What’s the Big Deal?

Your next question is probably: So what? I look and feel great! Why is sitting down so bad for my health?

New studies, including one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine have found that prolonged periods of sedentary behavior can have many adverse effects on our bodies, which go far beyond our cardiovascular health.

Medical professionals are recognizing that prolonged sitting is responsible for health ailments in people of all ages, ranging from headaches and joint pain to cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes. It is even possible that the chances of developing dementia increase substantially for those people maintaining a sedentary lifestyle.

And if all that isn’t enough, according to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle has been identified as the fourth largest cause of death worldwide! Make no mistake, sitting disease is a “deep-seated” problem.

How Does It Happen?

According to Harvard Health Publications, research suggests that prolonged sitting messes with your body’s metabolism.

Essentially, the enzymes responsible for your metabolism become dormant when still for too long, delaying or even shutting down cell growth and reconstruction. Active cell regeneration is what keeps our bodies operating at peak performance. Remaining stationary for extended periods of time each day materially increases the damage to our body’s cells, which opens the door to sickness and disease.

Don’t Sit This One Out!

While you may feel great, if you live a lifestyle that requires you to sit for long durations there is no better time than now to start correcting the debilitating effects of sitting disease. Here are a few things you can do starting today:

When given a choice, make the one that keeps you more active. Walk instead of ride, stand instead of sit, and fidget instead of staying still.

Anything you can do to keep your enzymes awake and cells metabolizing, the better! If you have spare time, turn on some music and straighten up instead of settling down to watch a half hour of news. Decide to visit a museum over seeing a movie. Learn to enjoy activities that set you up to move more.

Move your conveniences across the room. Placing convenience items such as remote controls, cell phones, trash cans, and even bottles of water or staplers on a counter away from your regular workstation will force you to change position to get the tools and supplies you need.

While this may seem like a little thing, every time you move you keep your enzymes from going dormant and stalling your cell regeneration.

Use a standing desk or counter-top instead of a table. We have grown used to sitting for many activities that we can perform just as easily standing up. Use a standing desk or counter-top as your work-space to work on your laptop, eat or read. Even just standing part of the time you would usually sit will help stop the harmful effects of sitting disease.

Finally, don’t give up on exercise! True, exercising for an hour a day is not enough to counteract all the harm caused by a sedentary lifestyle. It might be tempting to ignore the other benefits of a daily exercise routine since most of us can’t spend 6-8 hours a day at it. Make sure to combine regular exercise with the other suggestions above and watch sitting disease take a back seat to your good health.

stay energized

5 Tips to Stay Energized During Your Workouts

Tips to Stay Energized while Working Out

A good workout routine is one of the key factors to staying healthy and in shape. However, many people end up spending their workout time inefficiently because they are tired and malnourished before the workout even begins.

This can really have a negative impact because it makes people less likely to exercise and keeps them from actually accomplishing anything when they can muster up the motivation to workout. These five easy tips will help you to have an energetic and successful workout instead of feeling bored and exhausted after just a few minutes.

Entertain Yourself

Many men and women find that the main thing keeping them from working out is boredom. No matter how good for your body it can be to run, swim, and weight lift, exercising sometimes seems bland and repetitive.

When this happens, try to distract yourself instead of just summoning the willpower to continue working. If possible, you might enjoy watching an exciting, binge-worthy television show. Of course this is not easy to do unless you are running on a treadmill or elliptical, so something fun that can be listened to over a set of headphones is often a great choice.

Cheerful, fast paced music is often a great way to get into an energetic mood while working out. You can also work out your brain while exercising by listening to an audiobook or educational podcast.

Stay Properly Hydrated

The importance of hydration cannot be overemphasized. During a rigorous workout, you can lose up to eight cups of water through sweat and heavy breathing. This can lead to dehydration which causes headaches, fatigue, and grumpiness, and these symptoms do not make it easy to have a proper workout.

To make sure that you have the water needed to energize your muscles during a workout, carry a water bottle with you and take tiny sips of water regularly. Many people do not realize this, but proper hydration starts hours before your workout. Try to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day instead of chugging water right before a workout because your body cannot absorb too much water very quickly.

Get Enough Sleep

It might seem a bit obvious, but many people do not realize that lack of sleep might be the reason that they get exhausted after just a few minutes of exercising. Your body needs to recuperate from previous exercise by resting and sleeping. Without at least eight hours of sleep each day, you may notice that your workout is suffering.

Get the Right Nutrition

Food is the fuel that your body burns while exercising, so you cannot feel energetic during a workout if you are not properly nourished. Even if you are just exercising for 15 or 20 minutes, your performance may suffer if you have not eaten in the past few hours. Nutrition is even more necessary in harder workouts.

Fitness experts recommend that you eat an easily digestible carbohydrate and a protein about half an hour before a workout so that your body has the fuel it needs to produce a powerful and energetic workout.

Pre-Workout Supplements

Some even recommend going out and purchasing a pre-workout supplement. These are supplements designed to give you a big energy pump by allowing more blood to flow through your veins. This also gives you the famous “muscle pump” you might have heard about. Make sure to read some pre-workout supplement reviews first though!

Drink Some Coffee

Coffee can be a great natural stimulant if you really need a bit of extra boost during your workout. Caffeine increases both mental alertness and physical movements, so it is a great way to speed up and amplify your workout. Studies have also found that coffee encourages the body to burn fat cells during exercise, so it can be a great way to get maximum weight-loss benefits from your workout. Just keep in mind that coffee is a diuretic that makes you lose water, so you may need to drink extra fluid during your workout to keep yourself hydrated.

These tips will help you to maintain maximum energy levels while you are getting in shape. An energized workout ensures that you truly strengthen your muscles and burn any excess calories. Though these tips might seem simple, you will be surprised at just how big of a difference they can make. When you are truly energized about your workout, you will be motivated to get into shape much quicker.


have fun while working out

7 Ways To Make Your Workouts More Fun

How to Have Fun During Exercise

Exercising doesn’t always have to be dull, and there are ways you can make your workouts more fun. The more you enjoy working out, the more likely you will stay motivated while trying to reach your fitness goals. Here are seven ways to make your workouts more fun.

Join a Group

Whether you want to attend a group fitness class or form your own workout group, working out with other like-minded fitness enthusiasts will make the process of exercising seem more like a fun social event. Communicating with others in your group might make it possible for you to push through fitness barriers more easily while adding a further sense of enjoyment to your workouts. You can join or start your own running or hiking group if you want to take on a bigger group fitness challenge that is even more exciting.

Let the Music Take Control

Simply listening to music can add more enjoyment to breaking a sweat. You will want to choose music that has a tempo that can help you stay on track and work hard without pushing you beyond your limits. Upbeat dance music, hip-hop and oldies are often excellent choices for exercising. If you are in your home or at a facility that has its own sound system, you can play your music over the loudspeakers. You can also invest in an iPod or another device that will allow you to take your music with you to any location where you choose to exercise. Just make sure to get a good pair of headphones for working out!

Change Up Your Routine

Your exercise routine doesn’t have to stay the same all of the time, and changing things up can make fitness more fun. It’s a good idea anyway to vary your workouts between cardio and strength-training exercises so that you will get the best results. You can choose to change your workout by day or from week to week depending on your specific fitness goals.

Be Creative

You might think that exercising only consists of heavy weights, intricate equipment and repetitive fitness drills, but there are many creative ways to get in better shape. Pilates and yoga are two fitness methods that can tone many of your muscles and increase your flexibility while giving you the chance to try something a little different. Zumba and dance classes also provide fun ways to get fit and will likely make you forget that you are working out in the first place. If you want to be even more daring, you can try activities like rock climbing or martial arts. There are also gymnastics classes that are specifically designed for adults. If you are an avid gamer, you can find video games that allow you to be active while playing.

Try Different Locations

Working out doesn’t always have to take place in a gym. You can make the process of getting fit more enjoyable simply by working out in various locations. If you live near a beach, you can go for a nice jog along the sand or perhaps even go swimming in the water if conditions are safe enough. Some popular beaches also have stationary fitness equipment that is available for public use. You can also go for a bike ride or enjoy other fitness activities in the mountains or countryside if you live in the right type of area.

Make a Competition Out of It

Another great way to make fitness more enjoyable is to make a competition out of it. You can try fitness challenges with your workout buddies that encourage friendly competition. If you are a serious competitor at heart, you may even want to enter competitive events like marathons, triathlons and cycling races to see how far your fitness takes you. Joining a baseball, soccer or another type of amateur sports team in your area is another great idea.

Set Reward Goals

You can stay motivated in your exercise program when you reward yourself after accomplishing certain fitness goals. You may want to reward yourself with a delicious (but healthy) meal or buy a new outfit or car accessory. Another clever idea is to treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a day at the spa once certain milestones have been reached.