Monday, August 15, 2011

Get Off Your Ass - Really!


Sorry it has been longer than I like since I last posted, but my work and travel and workouts have to come first.

I am fortunate in that I don't sit all day, although I could and probably some who try and reach me unsuccessfully by phone say I should.

But, sitting is bad, very bad.

I picked this up from Nerd Fitness recently and thought I would share it in a couple of installments . . .

"Sitting is one of those conveniences that can cause all sorts of damage to our body when done to excess – a.k.a. the typical sedentary American lifestyle.  I read a great article over on Mark’s Daily Apple that compared sitting to today’s modern shoes and sneakers.  Sure, your new Nikes might seem comfortable, but they actually weaken all of the muscles and joints in your feet and ankles by doing all of the stabilization work for you – your muscles grow weak, complacent, and bored because they have nothing to do.  This is a recipe for injury and disaster.

"Your core/hips/groin/legs are no different when it comes to sitting!

"When you sit down, your hip flexors (the muscles that work the movements between your pelvis and thigh bones – that crease between your thigh and groin) get tightened and shortened.  Meanwhile, your hamstrings and glutes (butt) get all stretched out.  Now obviously your muscles getting stretched and contracted  is a part of life – it’s these actions that allow us to do fantastic things like…move.  However, the problems arise when we keep these muscles in this non-standard state for hours upon hours at a time.

"Think of your muscles as glorified rubber bands – they can stretch and contract as you pull them.  Now, take a rubber band and wrap it around a basketball, stretching it to its limit for a few weeks.  When you come back and take that rubber band off the ball, it will have almost no elasticity and won’t be able to return to its original shape.  Or, it’ll just snap.  Crapola.

"If you’ve ever tried to do a heavy leg workout after a day filled with hours of sitting then you know what I’m talking about – you feel like an old man or woman with the flexibility of a steel girder.

And that’s just for our hips!

When you factor in slouched-over shoulders, a weakened lower back, a jacked up spine, and that hunchback look that we all adore (not), sitting in an office chair all day pretty much renders our body useless."

Bottom line: Get off your ass. Really. I mean it. Even if you work at a desk 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day, make it a habit to get up and walk around at least once every couple of hours. Do some body weight squats or seated chair squats against a wall -- anything to get the blood to your legs -- the biggest muscles in your body and the ones, if unattended, are most likely to give up earliest in your life.

More on this in the next post.

Train hard; diet harder!


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