Life is movement, the less we move the less life we experience. According to a New York Times article from 2011, 80% of jobs are sedentary, or only require light activity. What does this mean for our health? Sitting all day means you add about 150 unused calories to your body each day. What does 150 calories look like? Dr. Joseph Mercola of mercola.com, reviewed research and found that just one can of soda a day adds 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a year. A can of soda is 150 calories! Think about this, if you have a sedentary job and you drink that soda in the afternoon for some needed energy, now you have added 300 calories a day. No wonder that six-pack you use to have has turned into a keg. Adding this extra weight affects our overall health. According to the National Institute of Health being overweight leads to: Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Abnormal Blood Fats, Metabolic Syndrome, Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, Reproductive Problems, Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome, and Gallstones. That’s a long list! Most likely you have heard of most of these disease processes and might be suffering from one or more. What can you do?
Step 1. Move more.
You gotta move! If you don’t move you get heavier and if you get heavier it’s more difficult to move. If it is more difficult to move, you don’t want to move. It’s a vicious cycle. When you stop moving you become less healthy and when you become less healthy your body is in dis-ease. Do you know what happens when your body is in dis-ease? Disease happens. That long list of disorders above from the National Institute of Health, that happens.
Today, one in three American’s is obese. Workplace physical inactivity is only a part of this obesity epidemic. Diet, lifestyle, and genetics also play a part in our pants getting tighter each time we try to zip them.
You might be saying at this time, “What the heck?” or maybe even, “See it’s not my fault it’s my great grandma Ethel.” Or “My brother’s uncle’s cousin was big boned and some am I.” Recall that vicious cycle; weighing more and moving less? It’s not just inactivity that’s causing us to take up more space in this world. Some things you can control and some things are beyond your control. Start with simple things that you can control. Start with moving more. Just make a decision to start moving a few steps more each and every day. There are fitness trackers, pedometers, and even your phone most likely tracks your steps each day. Look at those steps today, and tomorrow choose to move 100 more steps. When you see it’s not so bad, you can add even more steps. Set goals, meet those goals and good things will start to happen.
When you get your body moving it starts a cascade of positive events. Pretty soon that cycle starts spinning the opposite direction. You move your body more, you weigh less and it’s easier to move your body more. When it’s easier to move you want to move more. That keg you are carrying around gets a little smaller and your pants zip up a little easier.
Type a list in your phone of 5 things you like to do that get your body moving. You gotta move! You have to make time in your day to move! Look at your day. Where could you find a few extra minutes to move?
Step 2. Eliminate excuses.
“I don’t have time.” This is the most common excuse we human’s use when we don’t really want to do something. “I don’t have time” comes in many forms. I have to work. I’m tired. I don’t feel good. I have too much to do. I’ll start next week. Most excuses fit into this bracket. What can you do? Eliminate the excuses and make a decision to get moving. Easier said than done, right? It’s easy to say ‘Just Do It’ but making it happen can be a different story. Start easy, by taking a few extra steps a day. You don’t have to run a marathon today, but maybe you will in a year.
3. Set Goals.
You have to set attainable goals. Start out with some simple goals that you know you can achieve, like walking an extra 100 steps in a day, or doing a 5 minute yoga sequence, or doing 10 jumping jacks an hour. Just move and set goals that you know you can achieve. Also, set some mid-range goals, like walking an extra mile in a day, or doing a 30 minute yoga sequence, or doing 100 jumping jacks. Choose what you want to do and work your way from less to more. I find it best to write these goals down and review them each day.
When you write them down and review the goals each day you are more committed and less likely to make excuses. Plan for success. Plan to move. Plan to eliminate excuses. Set goals!
Dr. Steve Higgins graduated magna cum laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic. Always striving for excellence, Dr. Higgins was chosen as a Vogt Scholar and selected to the Pi Tau Delta Chiropractic Honor Society. Dr. Higgins was honored with 2 of the top 3 awards of his graduating class. Prior to attending Chiropractic College, Dr. Higgins was the Director of Imaging at Grant County Hospital and an EMT-I/D with the Grant County EMS. Dr. Higgins is now contributing to the education of future health care providers as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. He also cares for patients through CHIROFIT Chiropractic group in the Phoenix area.