Let me be honest…either I’m getting old and my metabolism hit the brakes this year or blogging is causing turbo weight gain!!! Here’s the deal – I started blogging 3 years ago and in those 3 years of blogging I have put on 20 pounds! I can only conclude that blogging is not physically healthy – nor is hanging out on Facebook and twitter all evening long!
Years back I shared my struggles with my weight. Some of you may look at my pictures and videos and think I have a screw loose for worrying about my weight…but I come from a family of thin people and I am the only one who ever seems to have trouble with her weight!! So 3 weeks ago Janelle from Comfy in The Kitchen, invited me to join Weight Watchers On-line with her. I entered in my height and weight – and indeed even Weight Watchers told me – I was one pound from being considered over weight! I’m not trying to be as thin as my sisters – I’d have to lose over 30 pounds to do that…and I understand that I was not created to be like them – I am me. BUT I would like to fit in my clothes in my closet and stop the weight gain before it does become a real problem health wise.
So I turned to my real life friend and now blogger – Clare from Peak 313 Fitness and asked her to write on the topic of Media and Our Health (and you must check out her new “Deskie Workout!”). Clare writes:
Is media affecting our health? The answer is a resounding YES!!! Adults and children spend over 70% of their waking day at a desk, in a car, on the computer etc. We sit down to read our emails. We sit down to browse the web. We sit down to write our blogs.There is even a new science of “sedentary behavior” or “inactivity physiology”. There are people who actually study this for a living!
Here are some common ways media is affecting our health:
1.) Lower Back/Neck/Wrist Pain: Whether it’s an uncomfortable office chair, a computer monitor that’s at the wrong height, or hours of punching in numbers at the computer, we are BOUND to get pain while sitting at a desk. I know many people who have had to get intense therapy for the damage sitting has done for them. Carpel tunnel was a syndrome none of us spoke of 15 years ago and now we have people getting surgery to correct it all the time. Our posture gets worse as the day wears on and all that takes it’s toll on our joints.
2.) Exhaustion: If there’s one thing I’ve learned since blogging it’s that it’s HARD to shut down at night. I’m always looking at “just one more thing.” Experts say that we should shut down all media ONE HOUR before we hit the sack. That gives our body enough downtime to prepare for rest. So whether you’re hopped up on some blog you just read or just hitting the sack 2 hours later than you planned, we are not getting enough sleep.
3.) Weight Gain: We’re sitting. We’re eating. We’re drinking. We’re skipping our workout. And we wonder why last year’s jeans are too tight. One of my favorite sayings is “Objects in motion stay in motion. ” Unfortunately, there’s nothing “motion” about sitting in front of a computer or tv and we end up seated for longer than we plan.
4.) Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) This is the scariest one of all yet the one that no one probably thinks about. Studies show that people who sit for more than six hours a day are 18% to 37% more likely to die of diabetes, heart disease, or other causes than those who sit for less than three hours a day. Let me give you a little science into this.
We have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in cells that line our capillaries. This enzyme is important because it grabs fats out of the bloodstream and moves them to the muscles or to fat cells for storage and fuel. After just a few hours of not standing, LPL basically turns off. With LPL suppressed by sitting, harmful triglycerides (fats) build up in our bloodstream, and good HDL cholesterol levels drop (HDL-C is the “clean up” crew for your body). This all elevates your risk for cardiovascular disease.
These 4 areas still affects the person who gets their daily exercise in and those who are of normal weight, so NO ONE is exempt.
Here are some practical ways to seamlessly make changes to your health:
1.) Set a timer. Every 20 -30 minutes get up and walk to the restroom. Stand up. Stretch. A timer is also handy in keeping you aware that you need to shut down for the night.
2.) Stretch. Roll your head forward and side to side. Reach your hands behind you and above you. Stand up and reach down to your toes. Circle your wrists and ankles one way and then the other. Keep the body loose and moving as much as you can.
3.) Small steps. When possible, stand during a phone call. Stand while at the computer. Dance a little jig. Get up at commercials. Everything counts!
4.) This workout. I have created 2 workouts with you in mind! This should not replace your usual routine. Even if you can only do bits and pieces of these in small segments, something is better than nothing. Do the routine all in one sitting or set a timer and do a few exercises here and there. Click here to see my NEW Deskie Workout I’ve created(these pictures were taken at Courtney’s house)!
One final thing. There is a difference between fidgeting and standing up. Fidgeting (which yes you can do while sitting) will help a little with your waistline and calories burned, however, in order to help fight against CVD, we must stand up (and move if possible)!
Thank you Clare for your insight! I always love having Clare into my home to teach me new fitness tricks :)! Let’s take care of our bodies- our temples – so we can serve our mighty God with vigor and strength.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me – how has media affected your health?