Media and Our Health
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?
Great tips!! Thanks!
My husband and I have just been talking about this recently. It is amazing how little food we actually need. And because we are sitting so much, unlike our ancestors who moved constantly, we don’t need much food. I try and weigh every day so I know if I have gained a pound. Then I eat less that day. My husband and I hold each other acccountable. We have to tell each other each day how much we weigh. We don’t want to be overweight because it is so uncomfortable. But it is a battle in today’s day and age with all the good food around! You are still very pretty!
Great post! Hit home with me… I don’t spend all that much time blogging (writing on my own anyways) I do spend time on facebook and reading other blogs. I used to enjoy doing a Leslie Sansone Walk away the Pounds dvd (she’s so upbeat :)) during my toddler’s nap, but now I’ll hop on here (not the kind of hopping that helps in the weight loss dept :))… I used to also take walks around the neighborhood every night and talk on my cell phone to a friend or family member – it was great to combine both exercise and catching up, but social media has seemed to hinder that good form of exercise, too. The walks have not been happening!… I need to get back to my former habits and keep the new ones in check. I appreciate your encouragement through your posts! We are not without hope! Praise God for bringing these needs to our attention! He is faithful! 🙂
Wow – that information on cardiovascular disease is scary. I hadn’t seen that one before. I try not to spend too much time at the computer so that I don’t lose track of work I need to do at home, but this is yet another reason to limit the online time. I like your idea about the timer.
Great post! I definitely feel that the sedentary lifestyle is affecting our health. Four years ago when I went from college to my full time desk job, I gained 20 pounds in six months without changing my diet and or intentional exercise! Time spent sitting at a computer really adds up and keeps you from just being generally active. It’s particularly bad if I sit at my desk job all day and then come home and spend some time sitting at the computer! I’ve really been focusing on trying to limit my time sitting at the computer and spend more time doing things like going for casual walks, cooking, running errands, etc.
I’ve definitely been thinking lately how I spend too much time on the internet and not enough time moving and giving my body the activity it needs. Thank you for the helpful tips! I’m only 24 and I don’t want to end up making myself sick just because I couldn’t shut the computer down. Speaking of which, I think I should do just that and go for a walk with my husband.
For me it is another part of blogging that leads to weight gain….all those great recipes others post. I just finished a piece of peach cobbler from a recipe I found on a blog!
I moved my laptop to the kitchen counter so I have to stand to read/surf the web. It keeps me from being on the computer for too long and keeps me up and moving. I have a set three days during the week to I work on the online portion of my business and will actually sit with my computer, but other than that I am standing at my kitchen counter.
I wanted to echo that you are beautiful and have a lovely figure. Remember that being fit is about more than just weight… its about what’s going on underneath the surface. It’s ok to be at the top of your weight spectrum if you have good blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I’m not saying we should just ignore our bodies, but it can become self-destructive to weigh yourself each day. I am at the top of the normal weight range and would like to lose maybe 10 more lbs by really listening to my body: exercising in a balanced way (I tend to get obsessive with running) and eating healthy foods (vegetables, whole grains, protein etc) when I am hungry (vs bored, upset, etc). I plan on losing it very slowly, and I know that my weight will fluctuate (I always gain a little weight when I visit my parents, for example). I lost about 10 lbs doing that this year, and I feel a lot better. I have a younger sister who has always been much thinner than me (she was actually underweight as a teen, eating bacon and drinking milkshakes each day…), so I understand how hard it can be to have siblings with much different genetics. It’s hard to learn to love your body when its not what society tells you is attractive. Just remember that you are beautiful and be kind to yourself… it will make you much more successful at keeping healthy in the long-run! 🙂
I love to take walks while talking on my phone too–much easier now that cell phones are around! 🙂 Thanks as always for the good post, Courtney!
Great post, Courtney! I totally get what you are saying. I come from a family of skinny people and I have never struggled with my weight. As I’m getting older, (and having kids) I feel like I’m gaining some pounds, which is hard. I blame my recent weight gain on Janelle, though. Her recipes are just too darn good! LOL (I’m kidding, Janelle). Even though you two are so beautiful, I’m happy that you are doing something for yourselves by joining weight watchers online. It’s amazing how when we feel better about ourselves we are more productive for the kingdom! God bless ya, sis.
I loved this post on Media and Our Health. I need to really ponder on this and get back to exercising. I know I need to draw back a bit from the computer and step out in the sun for a good walk.
Thanks for the post and keep on enjoying your moments!